The incoming class of 69 men and 53 women will be officially welcomed into the UCSD School of Medicine in a White Coat Ceremony September 2, 2005, during which they will recite the Oath of Hippocrates and receive the white coats they will wear as they study to become physicians. The 122 students are the school’s 38th class since it opened in the fall of 1968 and were selected from over 5,000 applicants. The students range in age from 21 to 33 with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.73
They begin a four-year program leading to a doctorate of medicine (M.D.) degree that will prepare them for a career as a physician. Sixteen of this year’s students have entered the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) to concurrently study toward both an M.D. and Ph.D. This year’s class of MSTP students is the largest number ever to enter the program. Edward W. Holmes, Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences remarked on what this advance means for the future.
“I am delighted that we have recruited such an outstanding class with superior academic qualifications representing a broad group of interests and career goals” said Holmes. “This year we have an unprecedented number of MD/PhD students in the entering class and we are especially pleased to see this level of interest in physician-scientist training, a critical need in this country.”
Four of this year’s students come into the school as part of the Medical Scholars Program; the students studied for their undergraduate degrees at UCSD going straight into the medical school. This is only the third year of the relatively new program.
The majority of students come from the state’s premier research universities: UCLA (27), UCSD (22), UC Berkeley (17) and Stanford (14). Most of the students graduated from the University of California system (69), others received their degrees from numerous esteemed and faraway institutions such as Bogacizi University in Turkey, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Princeton, MIT, Northwestern and other notable universities.
The students took a diverse path to arrive at UCSD; 39 students were born outside of the United States and another 32 have one or two parents not born in the U.S. Over 90 students have conducted either basic or clinical research, some funded through prestigious organizations such as the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The class includes a Fulbright Scholar and others who have donated thousands of hours of community service including involvement in Americorps and Teach for America. Many students are accomplished at collegiate athletics; another is a former professional soccer player.
Sixteen of the incoming students hold master’s degrees, one holds a Ph.D. As in years past, many in the class are talented musicians, a number were EMTs, and several have worked and traveled overseas. The majority majored in some area of science but a few chose other paths such as computer science, history, civil and electrical engineering, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, English and sociology.
The ceremony will also include induction of selected senior medical students into the UCSD Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Developed by the Arnold P Gold Foundation the society formally recognizes medical students, residents, faculty and alumni who demonstrate exemplary behavior that promotes humanism in medicine. The creation of the UCSD chapter celebrates the values of humanism, compassion, integrity and professionalism in clinical care and dedication to service, and recognizes those students who live out these traits in their lives and practice of medicine. Dr. Christine Moutier, Assistant Dean for Student and Curricular Affairs will induct the new members.
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