Beginning their journey: U-M Medical School welcomes 171st class

July 31, 2017  //  FOUND IN: News,

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A diverse class of 177 newly-minted medical students were presented with crisp white coats — bearing the U-M logo — and stethoscopes on Saturday, July 29. The annual White Coat Ceremony, held in Hill Auditorium, marked the students’ official start of their U-M Medical School journey.

“This is an incredible time to be entering medicine and to begin your medical training and education,”  said Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for medical affairs and dean of the medical school. “Medicine is changing rapidly and the advances that will be possible in your careers will be amazing.”

A record number of applications

During the ceremony’s “calling of the class,” students came up on stage, announced their hometowns and undergraduate institutions, and were then presented with short white coats — a symbol of their future profession, emphasizing the trust, humanity, and responsibility that comes with becoming a physician.

The class was selected from a pool of nearly 7,000 applicants, according to Steven Gay, M.D., M.S, assistant dean for admissions for the medical school. That’s the highest number of applications the school has ever seen.

The class is 54 percent female and 19 percent from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in medicine. The majority came to medical school after gaining experiences beyond college.

“As our educational programs continue to evolve, this incoming class is truly remarkable for their potential to become leaders and change agents in health and science,” said Rajesh Mangrulkar, M.D., associate dean for medical student education. “This is the vision we have set with our new curriculum.”

The incoming class will be immersed in the clinical care world of Michigan Medicine from the beginning of their med school career. They’ll develop an understanding of the importance of teamwork while they engage in inter-professional educational experiences with students enrolled in U-M’s other health professions schools.

In addition, as the first class with a capstone project graduation requirement, they will receive enhanced training in leadership and have the opportunity to demonstrate their impact in medicine through one of eight scholarly concentrations, called the Paths of Excellence.

Here’s a closer look at this year’s incoming class:

  • 70 students come from the state of Michigan, with the rest coming from 26 other states.
  • 52 attended U-M as undergraduates, with others graduating from 13 different Michigan institutions and 48 out-of-state colleges and universities.
  • Students come from many different fields, including the biological and non-biological sciences, social sciences, humanities, the arts and engineering.
  • More than 10 percent of the class is made up of engineers.
  • 11 students will pursue a combined M.D./ Ph.D. degree through the Medical Scientist Training Program. Additionally, three students who already hold dental degrees will train in oral and maxillofacial surgery.
  • The students range in age from 21 to 37, with an average age of 24.1 years old.

To see the full 2017 entering class profile, click here.