Dean Goldschmidt Welcomes New Students and Encourages Community Service

As the Miller School’s newest medical students embark on their paths to earning M.D.s, they will find that studying medicine is challenging and rewarding – and a privilege.

These and other words of wisdom were delivered by Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., on August 11 as he welcomed the Class of 2014 to the Miller School and reminded the freshmen they were beginning an education that would allow them to join the ranks of one of the most respected professions. Their Miller School education, he said, will prepare them well for the point in their careers when they will choose medical paths such as family medicine, surgery, ophthalmology, global health, or other areas in the vast field of health care. But, he emphasized, whatever path is chosen, “find your passion. And whenever you do, go for it. Once you find your passion in medicine you’ll never have enough of it.”

Dean Goldschmidt also gave students an overview of the Miller School’s core missions, which includes serving as a community partner. The partnership has various initiatives, such as the Mitchell Wolfson Sr., Department of Community Services (DOCS) health fairs, which take place annually and are run by students.

“The Miller School is a better institution because of you,” Dean Goldschmidt told the students.

Dr. Goldschmidt, explained, too, that healing people across the globe is part of the Miller School’s long tradition of community service. He displayed the newest issue of University of Miami Medicine magazine, the special “Healing Haiti” edition, which chronicles the school’s extraordinary response to the catastrophic January 12 earthquake in the Caribbean nation.

“It’s great that the University places such a big emphasis on community service,” said Jessica Schmidtman, who attended UM as an undergraduate. “As first-year medical students our knowledge is limited but we are still included as part of the outreach team. I’m excited about volunteering at our first health fair coming up next month.”

Dalal Eldick, also a UM grad, was impressed by the Dean’s strong belief that all students should engage in serving their community. Early this year she served as an undergraduate student assistant with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and witnessed the Miller School’s massive program to aid Haiti after the earthquake.

“To see such a quick, large and continuous response not only opens the eyes of the rest of the U.S. but it really motivates people to want to work in communities that need help, whether in Third World countries or locally,” said Eldick. “That’s part of what attracted me to the Miller School. We are quick to give aid to Haiti but we’re also in Little Haiti every single day.”

Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., senior associate dean for undergraduate medical education, said the Dean’s welcome has become an annual orientation highlight that inspires students and sets them on a positive path for the next four years.

“Dean Goldschmidt’s message resonated with all of us,” said Mechaber. “We are very passionate about what we do here at the Miller School and feel fortunate to be part of such an incredible profession.”

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