New medical students are shown the ropes
By Rosemary Lunardini
The 73 members of the M.D. Class of 2011 came together for the first time on August 6 for a week of orientation. In addition, five new students began their studies in the M.D.-Ph.D. program, and 103 entered other DMS graduate programs.
Andrew Welch, the director of admissions for the M.D. program, says the class includes 41 women and 32 men. Students of color and international students account for 45% of the class, up 5% from last year.
The class's average combined MCAT score was 33.4, the highest in the school's history. The average undergraduate GPA in both science and nonscience subjects was over 3.7.
Wellness: The new students were welcomed by JamesWright, president of the College; Dr. Stephen Spielberg, dean of DMS; and other deans, who had prepared a fact- and fun-filled week to introduce them to Dartmouth and each other. They got overviews of the curriculum, student affairs offerings, wellness and safety measures, the biomedical libraries, the computing system, the honor code, community service opportunities, and much more.
The class also enjoyed an afternoon of team-building at a local ropes course and an overnight hike up Dartmouth's own mountain, Mount Moosilauke. For most of the class, this was new terrain but not an unfamiliar activity, as outdoor sports are big favorites among the '11s. In their admissions autobiographies, many listed biking, hiking, kayaking, and skiing as interests. But not every student comes with pedaling or paddling experience. Nisha Jambulingam, for example, wrote: "As a perpetual city-dweller, I am interested to learn about Hanover's great outdoors that I have heard so much about."
The members of the class hail from as near as Hanover, N.H. (Yukako Honda) and Norwich, Vt. (Sarah Edwards) and from as far away as Zimbabwe. Fadzai Chinyengetere described herself in these words: "I am a proud Zimbabwean woman. I did my undergrad at Smith College. . . . My dreams and ambitions include going back home and utilizing the education obtained here to assist and further the lives and goals of my community."
Honda, who moved to Hanover from Japan in fifth grade, graduated from Hanover High School and Dartmouth College. She said she is interested in Japanese cuisine and gardening and was looking forward to learning more about health and nutrition at DMS.
That learning was soon underway. By August 13, the students were in the classroom, studying hard.
Other programs: A total of 103 additional students entered DMS's graduate programs in the biomedical sciences and evaluative clinical sciences this fall.
The Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, which encompasses biochemistry, genetics, and microbiology-immunology, has 27 new students. And the new Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine (PEMM) has admitted 13 students. PEMM is based on the classical disciplines of pharmacology and physiology.
The acclaimed Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences, recently renamed the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, admitted 62 students—18 to the M.S. program and one to the Ph.D. program; about half are health-care professionals, and the others are recent college graduates. In addition, the Institute enrolled 43 new M.P.H. students.
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