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Wilcox locals honored at White Coat Ceremony

Wilcox County natives Jeffrey Wessel and Rob Land were awarded their White Coat during The White Coat Ceremony on Saturday at Augusta University.

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage, welcoming medical students into the medical profession. The ceremony began in 1993 by Dr. Arnold P. Gold at Columbia University in New York.  Wessel is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, while Land is in the Master of Physician Assistant Program.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program begins in May each year with a three-year program of full time study. A total of 40 students are admitted per class. To be considered for the program, Jeffrey was required to not only score in the 40th percentile or higher in each section on The Graduate Record Examination, he also completed more than 100 hours of observational work in a physical therapy setting at Southwest Georgia Rehabilitation in Cordele from May 2016 this past May.

“We’re very pleased to see he has found his niche in something that interests him,” said Dee and Jeff Wessel. “He has a real sense of pride in this and we know he’s going to be successful.”

The Master of Physician is divided into three semesters — Summer, Fall and Spring.  Clinical rotations for students encompass the final three semesters of the program.

“I’m extremely proud of Rob for this,” said Sherry Land. “He knew he wanted to do this after high school and college and it’s great to watch him see this through.”

Both programs are part of the College of Allied Health Sciences at Augusta University.