New program offers hands-on access to ATSU

It’s by invitation only, and it’s already creating a buzz.

It’s the White Coat Society, and ATSU board members John Robinson and Robert Uhl are the visionaries behind it. The innovative new program brings together a core group of community friends who will gain unprecedented access to ATSU’s Arizona campus programs and its students, faculty, and administrators.

“The intent for the White Coat Society is to further acquaint the Phoenix community with the activities of the Arizona campus, to broaden the understanding of ATSU’s relevance to this community, and to open doors where appropriate,” says Robinson.

Invitees attend a formal dinner on campus, after which they don scrubs, become ‘students,’ and attend an educational module that highlights one of the Arizona campus schools. It’s far more than a tour; it’s an opportunity for hands-on access to ATSU’s state-of-the art technology, with students and administrators there to assist and answer questions. At the conclusion of the two-year, six-module program, the group earns white coats as part of an honorary graduation.

The first module, called “Drill Baby Drill,” was held Nov. 9 at the ASDOH clinic. Attendees were served a formal dinner in the clinic waiting room, where they enjoyed a presentation from ASDOH Dean Jack Dillenberg, D.D.S., M.P.H. Following the meal, they visited the simulation lab to try their hands at root canal procedures and drilling.

“We believe that we have brought together a group of people who are more than intrigued and interested in completing the course of study toward their white coat,” Robinson says.

“Without a doubt, the experience has met all the expectations,” he continues. “Our programs already planned for 2010 are likely to be as enjoyable and should more than meet the objectives for getting this group acquainted with ATSU-Arizona.”

Craig M. Phelps, D.O., ’84, ATSU-Arizona provost, agrees that the White Coat Society is an important way for ATSU to continue reaching out to the community and exposing them to the university’s exceptional students and faculty.

“The White Coat Society gives community members an opportunity to experience the depth and breadth of the university’s health professions programs by embedding them in genuine educational settings. It is a truly unique and valuable opportunity, both for attendees and for the university.”