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For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

UND Department of Physician Assistant Studies to present white coats to PA Class of 2023

Thirty-four University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) physician assistant (PA) students begin the clinical portion of their studies next week in an effort to earn their Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree. To prepare for that momentous event, the members of the Physician Assistant Class of 2023 will receive their white coats later today in the Charles H. Fee, M.D., Auditorium at the SMHS. Because of the ongoing pandemic, no guests will attend the ceremony.

“The presentation of the white coat is symbolic of the new profession the students are entering,” said Department of Physician Assistant Studies Chair Jeanie McHugo, Ph.D., PA-C. “The coats will be worn by students through the clinical phase of their training and denote their involvement with the PA program at UND.”

This is the third group to benefit from the School’s Adopt-a-PA-Program. Based on the School’s Adopt-a-Med-Student Program, where donors to the SMHS provide engraved stethoscopes for first-year medical students, the School launched an Adopt-a-PA-Student Program in 2020. In this case, more than 20 generous donors to the School provided professional white coats for second-year Physician Assistant Studies students who are about to begin their clinical experiences.

Students have already completed their first two semesters of basic science instruction, and now transition into the clinical aspect of their curriculum in the didactic setting before beginning their primary care clinical experiences under the supervision of physician and PA preceptors. Over the next 18 months, they will return to UND for several weeks at different junctures for continued education and training.

Eighty percent of the Class of 2023 is from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Students range in age from 20 to 37 years, with an average age of 27. The class includes ten males and twenty-four females.

UND Master of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2023:

  • Morgan Bernhardt, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Ashley Black, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Samantha Braaten, Fargo, N.D.
  • McKenzie Burke, Osceloa, Wis.
  • Chelsey Clark, Livingston, Mont.
  • Matthew Davis, Fargo, N.D.
  • Cody DeWitt, Fargo, N.D.
  • Breanne Dunn, Hot Springs, Ark.
  • Anthony Douthit, Carrollton, Texas
  • Kristopher Flynt, Dixon, Mo.
  • David Franta, Winnebago, Minn.
  • Timonthy Fresonke, Perham, Minn.
  • Victoria Gingrey, Gardner, N.D.
  • Heather Greenwood, Dickinson, N.D.
  • Alexie Harms, Crosby, N.D.
  • Jenni Hetletved, Washburn, N.D.
  • Sasha Hopfauf, Fargo, N.D.
  • Monica Hurst, Poulsbo, Wash.
  • Kaylina Kelley, Minto, N.D.
  • Alexandra Laber, Fargo, N.D.
  • Brittany Liljenquist, Cooperstown, N.D.
  • Melanie Loehrer, St. Augusta, Minn.
  • Brittany McPherson, Fargo, N.D.
  • Jared Mouw, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Allison Obritsch, Dickinson, N.D.
  • Rodney Palmer, Lovell, Wyo.
  • Kaitlyn Prochnow, Wahpeton, N.D.
  • Molly Ruebke, Ada, Minn.
  • Daniele Schroeder, Crookston, Minn.
  • Mandy Stenehjem, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Mary Weisberg, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Tyson Williams, West Fargo, N.D.
  • Jenna Zaeske, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Joshua Zetocha, West Fargo, N.D.