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Vital Signs

New students: 210 matriculants in 8 programs

They came from far and wide and have traveled to the four corners of the earth, but now they are embarking on a common journey—through Dartmouth Medical School. This year's incoming students arrived in Hanover from 29 states and 17 different countries—including Armenia, Bulgaria, China, Russia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

The new students have also traveled widely. Many M.D. students have circled the globe not as tourists but as volunteers. Brian Thomas spent a summer caring for orphaned children in Haiti. James Sherwood was a volunteer English teacher in China. And R. Mitchell Ermentrout served as an interpreter for a clinic in Nicaragua.

But many gained valuable experience stateside as well. Justine Hutchinson, a graduate student in pharmacology and toxicology, spent the last two years testing the potency of a cancer vaccine at a biotech company in California. And Darcy Arendt, an M.D. student, worked as a cardiovascular monitoring technician.

M.D. program: The 82 M.D. students have a wealth of experience in nonmedical fields, too. Broc Burke believes that his work as an engineer, building and launching satellites, has given him a "finely tuned analytical approach to problems." Planning to pursue a career in medicine, Nishan Kugan chose business as his undergraduate major because he wanted to "understand the economical dynamics of the health-care world." When Kathryn Noyes wasn't volunteering in community

Some Statistics
About the New Students

M.D. Program
More than 4,500

M.D.-Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. Programs in the
Biomedical Sciences

Molecular & Cellular Biology
Pharmacology & Toxicology

Center for the Evaluative
Clinical Sciences

M.S. Program
M.P.H. Program
Ph.D. Program

health clinics, she was working as a ski instructor in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Brittany Sehn assisted with autopsies in the Ohio State University Hospital morgue but also worked in an ice cream shop, scooping up gourmet flavors like Thai Chili.

And despite the highest average combined score ever on the Medical

College Admission Test, the M.D. students aren't all work and no play. They profess to enjoying martial arts, mountain biking, skiing, fly-fishing, and even brewing beer.

Some are talented performing artists, too. Kristina Hennessey- Severson, a 2002 graduate of Dartmouth College, directed an a cappella group. Judy Lin founded a Pan-Asian dance troupe. Tim Huang is an accomplished classical musician, having placed in several competitions. And during the Broadway show Cats, Gerard Carroll received a standing ovation for a performance of another kind—he successfully performed CPR on an ailing audience member!

Half of the M.D. students are women, and 30% are of color or international origin.

Other programs: In addition to the M.D. Class of 2009, the crop of new DMS students includes 79 who began graduate studies in the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences and 45 who entered the doctoral programs in the biomedical sciences—molecular and cellular biology, pharmacology and toxicology, and physiology.

Regardless of the program the students are entering, they all seem eager to begin this journey. Mary Schwab, who just began the graduate program in physiology, says she is "looking forward to her new life as a graduate student," while new M.D. student Haitham Ahmed hopes that "everybody is as excited as I am to be at DMS this year!"

Kristen Garner

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