Potential Students Take a Second Look at the Miller School

Just before 9 a.m. on Friday, April 13, prospective medical students, many of them accompanied by their parents, filed into the Miller School’s Lois Pope LIFE Auditorium for the start of Second Look Day, when students who have been accepted to multiple schools revisit the ones on their short list. Greeting them on the projection screen was the phrase summarizing why they should choose the Miller School: “A tradition of compassionate service, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.”

Though much of the morning focused on the high value and clinical excellence of a Miller School education, faculty members, administrators, current students and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., brought the projected words to life by showing how deeply committed the Miller School is to caring for underserved people in its back yard and beyond.

“You will have an opportunity to serve your community,” said Goldschmidt, who is also Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and CEO of UHealth-University of Miami Health System. “Working with my friend Carlos Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Memorial Hospital, we are making sure we provide care for everyone.”

Migoya echoed the Dean’s remarks.

“The faculty at UM are innovators, leaders, and are sought after by patients, but we also provide the best care that money cannot buy,” Migoya said, explaining how closely the University and Jackson collaborate to bring the same high quality of care to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

Some prospective students were sold on Miami even before a poignant video showcased the array of services, including free health fairs and screenings, mission trips abroad, and other programs open to Miller School students.

Among them was Tene Sablo, M.S. For her, Second Look Day reinforced her reason for wanting to attend the Miller School.

“I would like to work with underserved populations and there is a great tradition of such work at UM, as well as numerous opportunities for students to contribute,” said Sablo, already a speech pathologist. “When I add that to the great faculty and the support that students get here, the multiple avenues available to develop your clinical skills and academic training, I feel comfortable with a decision to attend this University.”

Although Second Look Days are an established tradition at some other medical schools, this year’s was the second at the Miller School. Last year, a significant number of students who attended the event chose one of the Miller School’s medical studies tracks, including the inaugural four-year M.D./M.P.H. dual degree.

This year’s 106 potential students have the same options, as well as the newly launched M.D./J.D. program. The day’s presentations included details on the curriculum in Miami and at the Regional Campus in Palm Beach County, the academic societies, the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Department of Community Service (DOCS), the global health initiative at the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity, and the numerous medical facilities to which students have access.

“One of the things that attracted me is how immense a ‘medical city’ this area is, with the VA and other hospitals, the medical school in the middle, and this great mix of public-private partnerships that will give you exposure to a wide variety of patients,” said Sibi Krishnamurthy, who majored in chemistry and graduated from Duke University. “It’s very impressive and what I am hearing today is making the school even more appealing.”

In addition to Goldschmidt and Migoya, other speakers included Richard Weisman, Pharm. D., associate dean of admissions; Laurence Gardner, M.D., executive dean for education and policy; Alex Mechaber, M.D., senior associate dean for undergraduate medical education; Paul Mendez, M.D., assistant dean for clinical curriculum; and Joan St. Onge, M.D., assistant regional dean for clinical curriculum.

Second Look Day also included a presentation on “Living in Miami: The Pulse,” a panel discussion featuring current medical students who shared their experiences, a campus tour, a “spring fling” entertainment event and an evening cabaret at Miami’s Manuel Artime Theater featuring performances by dozens of multi-talented students and some faculty, too. The brainchild of Rammy Assaf, a member of the Class of 2015, the cabaret was so successful it looks like it, too, will emerge as another Miller School tradition. For a glimpse, check out the YouTube video Assaf put together of the rehearsals.

Weisman, who had met the prospective students individually during the interview and selection process, assured them they were being courted because they would fit in well at the Miller School.

“We have accepted 200 people out of 6,000 applicants,” Weisman told the group. “We hope that after today the decision will be much easier for you.”

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