Dean Goldschmidt Welcomes the Class of 2015

Telling most of the Class of 2015 they signed “a contract with society” by pursuing a career in medicine, Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., welcomed the Miller School’s newest students to a tradition of excellence in scientific discovery, patient care and community involvement.

“You are really at the dawn of an extraordinary journey and we are delighted you chose the Miller School of Medicine as the place for your journey,” Dean Goldschmidt told 154 of the 206 men and women in the freshmen class. “You will find that this medical school is unique. We’ll not only make you good doctors, we’ll make you good leaders. You will have an opportunity here to discover your leadership abilities and develop them to their maximum.”

This year’s freshman class includes another 52 students who began in June as members of the Miller School’s first four-year dual M.D./M.P.H. program. A day after the Dean’s August 10 welcome, members of both freshmen groups attended the annual Student Organization Fair, where upper classmen introduced them to the many community service and educational opportunities available on campus.

“It’s really encouraging to see the new medical students get so excited about our organization and wanting to be active in health care in the wider world,” said Jessica Kaltman, a fourth-year student who, along with second-year student Liz Yim, was signing up students for Medical Students in Action’s health care project in the Dominican Republic. “Students are the driving force behind what we do and we count so much on their commitment every year.”

Freshman Zoheb Imam didn’t need much convincing to sign up.

“I see Medical Students in Action as a good fit for me,” he said. “I enjoy traveling and it would be great to use some of the new skills I’ll be learning to help people.”

At his welcome address the day before, Dean Goldschmidt also emphasized the Miller School’s commitment to community service and how important a role it plays in the Miller School’s academic and patient-care missions. In particular, he highlighted the Miller School’s unprecedented emergency response to the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010 and the student-run Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Department of Community Service, or DOCS, which organizes and staffs two Miami clinics and a number of weekend health fairs across South Florida each year.

In response to questions from the students, Dean Goldschmidt also highlighted a number of the accomplishments that have pushed the Miller School to new heights in education and research. For example, he noted that two UM nephrologists led the international team that discovered the cause of a significant form of chronic kidney disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, and in a span of two months, three researchers from the Diabetes Research Institute published studies that graced the covers of three prestigious journals, Science Translational Medicine, Cell Metabolism and Nature Medicine.

The Dean also told the students that the latest U.S. News & World Report ranked five UM/Jackson programs as among the best in the nation. They included Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which claimed the Number One spot in ophthalmology for the eighth year in a row.

“I don’t see any slowing down in any of this,” he said. “We plan to do much more and you, too, will play a role.”

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