Many paths, one destination: Medical school welcomes 170th class

August 1, 2016  //  FOUND IN: News,
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Photo courtesy of Michigan Photography

They took many paths to get here, coming from 28 states and 60 undergraduate colleges. They received training in fields ranging from biology and physics to political science, engineering and the arts.

This past Saturday, their paths finally merged, as they became the 170th class of medical students to enter the U-M Medical School.

In the annual White Coat Ceremony at Hill Auditorium, the 172 aspiring physicians received the most visible symbol of their chosen profession from the faculty who will lead their classes beginning this week.

As they stepped from the stage, they started down a path laid by the school’s new curriculum — the first class to be fully immersed in the new program across all four years of their training.

Not only will they learn the science and skills they need to become doctors, but they’ll also gain immersive experience working together with professionals from other health fields.

The curriculum is geared toward training them to lead in an era of great change in health care. They’ll be able to choose a path within a path, as the first class to have eight of the school’s new Paths of Excellence open to them. Each gives students a chance to immerse themselves in an area where they can have an impact while still in medical school, in fields such as health policy, entrepreneurship, scientific discovery and bioethics.

The diverse class of students is 56 percent female and 16.3 percent from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in medicine.

“This is an exceptional group, and we’re going to offer them an exceptional experience that takes full advantage of the changes we’ve made in recent years,” said Rajesh Mangrulkar, M.D., associate dean for medical student education.

On the first day of classes, students will find out which of four “houses” they’ll spend their medical school careers with, yet another aspect of the medical school’s new curriculum. The houses will help create community, support, small-group learning, wellness and mentoring opportunities.

As Dr. Mangrulkar said, the incoming students will receive a top-notch medical education, “And they get to do it all within our vibrant and supportive community.”

For more information about the new medical school curriculum, visit