Although most associate the spring season with renewal, in medicine, July is really the time of year when everything feels new. Each year, with its arrival, so too do new BSOM students. At the same time, new residents and fellows begin to appear in the wards and clinics—having recently arrived for their orientation and preparations. For those of us who attended medical school and completed residencies, memories come back of our own “firsts”—the first day of medical school, a first night on call, etc. Having that perspective allows a unique understanding of what our learners are experiencing. I’m appreciative of all our faculty, staff, program directors, and deans who work so hard to make our newcomers feel welcomed and supported, not just in July, but throughout their time with us.
This morning, I had the chance to welcome our new incoming class of medical students. They are truly a remarkable bunch. I need to confirm this, but I think we have set a record for the percentage of Ohioans admitted to our school—88 percent. Sixty percent of our matriculants are women—a far cry from the early 1990s when my own medical school class was made up of about 35 percent women. Our students come from an additional 13 states and the Virgin Islands—and were born in countries around the world, including Azerbaijan, China, Ghana, Greece, Iceland, Iran, Jamaica, Korea, Lebanon, Nigeria, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, and Syrian Arab Republic. Many of our students speak multiple languages, including Spanish, French, Greek, Chinese, Urdu, Tagalog, and Arabic, to name a few. Several possess military experience, one is a national competitor in figure skating, and many other athletes, dancers, musicians, and actors are represented in this class. Eighteen percent of our students are from communities underrepresented in medicine, and 11 percent are first-generation college students.
At the same time, we also welcome 132 new residents and fellows who will learn and provide care at our partner hospitals. Our residents and fellows come to us from all around the country, and we are proud to count many Ohioans and natives of the Miami Valley among them. We are overjoyed to welcome these new physicians to our ranks, knowing that partnering in their educational journey allows us to come closer to fulfilling the original vision and mission of BSOM—to create skilled and compassionate physicians to serve the Miami Valley, the state of Ohio, and beyond.