Dean Goldschmidt Welcomes Class of 2018

In a changing healthcare climate, tomorrow’s doctors will focus on delivering preventive care to keep their patients healthy, while developing new strategies like regenerative medicine to address acute and chronic conditions, according to Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School of Medicine.

“I have never been more optimistic about the future of healthcare,” Goldschmidt told the 151 members of the Miller School’s M.D. Class of 2018 at orientation on Monday. Those students join the 48 members of the M.D./M.P.H. Class who began their M.P.H. coursework in June as part of their dual-degree program.

“You are the best class that ever came to the Miller School of Medicine,” said Goldschmidt, who is also CEO of UHealth – University of Miami Health System. This year, the incoming class had the highest average GPA (3.76) and MCAT (33.5) scores in history. There were 7,667 applicants for 151 openings, for an acceptance rate of 1.9 percent. There are 85 men and 66 women in the M.D. class and 34.4 percent of the students are minorities. Seventy-five students came from states other than Florida, and 25 were born outside the U.S. The M.D./M.P.H. class is made up of 26 women and 22 men, with 33 percent minorities.

Several of the Miller School’s new students said they were attracted to the program by the excellence of the faculty and the enthusiasm of upper-class medical students. “I felt the Miller School was a place where I could get a great education and really thrive,” said Nico Waler, a Jacksonville native. “I was really impressed with the positive attitudes of the UM students on interview day.”

Many students are already considering areas of specialization, including Gregor Rodriguez, a Fort Lauderdale native who is interested in neurology, and Tampa-born Adam Osiason, who is looking at radiology.

After earning her undergraduate degree at UM as part of the Medical Scholars Program, Miamian Shirin Razdan said, “I love Miami, UM and medicine, and couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.”

In welcoming the new medical students, Goldschmidt said that the practice of medicine has taken a “big step forward” with renewed emphasis on patient health. “It’s no longer about the number of angioplasties or gall bladder removals you perform,” he said. “It’s about the value you provide in helping your patients prevent problems and overcome their health challenges.”

In his talk, Goldschmidt also highlighted the values of collaboration, commitment and compassion. “We need clinicians and researchers working together to tackle the tough challenges like Ebola fever and Alzheimer’s disease,” he said. “I know that you are committed to making a difference in the lives of others.”

Last week, Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, led an informational session for new students. “Medical school is a transformative experience,” he said. “But joining the ranks of this profession comes with hard work, sacrifice and tremendous responsibility. It is a privilege that we earn to care for patients. Don’t forget that.”

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