Students entering the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine this year have continued a recent custom: Writing their own Student Oath of Professionalism. Students in teams of about eight begin writing this pledge during their orientation. Students must concur on the wording as the pledge serves as a confirmation of their commitment to the traditions and standards of medicine and brings to the fore the responsibilities that come with it.
These students, 187 in all, represent 82 different universities and colleges including Harvard, Duke, Michigan, Stanford, Miami University, University of Florida, University of Chicago, University of California, Berkeley and Wellesley College as members of the School of Medicine class of 2011. The students earned bachelor's and advanced or multiple degrees from these and other universities. Biology, chemistry and engineering remain popular majors, although 48 students have degrees in non-science fields. Last year, 174 students were accepted from 76 different schools.
This year 6,028 students sought admission to one of three academic/medical programs: the School of Medicine (University Program), the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University (College Program) or the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) for those pursing the M.D./Ph.D. degree. It represents a 13 percent increase in applications over last year. Of those accepted, 146 are enrolled in the University Program, 32 in the College Program and nine in the MSTP.
Students from the entering class are aged 19 to 36, with an average age of 23. Seventy-nine percent of these first-year students are from institutions outside of Ohio and 46 percent of them are women. Students represent 34 states, plus two are from Canada and one each from Nigeria, Russian Federation and Trinidad Tobago.
These students began their studies after having been ushered in by participating in the annual White Coat Ceremony. Held at Severance Hall, the program for first-year medical students is a venerable tradition. After reciting their Student Oath of Professionalism, faculty present each student with a white coat to symbolize their commitment to the profession and the responsibilities and privileges students will have as practitioners and researchers.
The keynote speaker was dual-degree alumnus Edgar B. Jackson Jr. (CLC '62, MED '66), who cautioned that the field of medicine requires more than good practitioners, but doctors who are creative and who can connect spiritually and emotionally to their patients. Jackson is chief of staff emeritus of University Hospitals, current adviser to the chief operating officer and president of University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and the first African American to have an endowed chair at University Hospitals.
Medical school interim Dean Pamela B. Davis welcomed students and their guests. She also assisted in the presentation of white coats along with Case President Barbara R. Snyder; Lina Mehta, associate dean of admissions; Kathleen Franco, associate dean for students and admissions at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; Carol Liedtke, professor of pediatrics, physiology and biophysics; Andrew Fishleder, executive dean of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; Robert Haynie (GRS '72, chemistry; MED '78), the Frederick Robbins Society Dean and the associate dean for students; Elizabeth McKinley (MED '87), the Emily Blackwell Society Dean; Steven Ricanati (MED '95), the Joseph Wearn Society Dean; C. Kent Smith, the David Satcher Society Dean and senior associate dean for students; Daniel Ornt, vice dean for education and academic affairs; Edwin Eigner (MED '54), president of the Medical Alumni Association; and Lee Ponsky (MED '97), a member of the Medical Alumni Association.
Following the ceremony, medical school faculty, staff, family and others joined the fledgling physicians and researchers for a reception in the Severance Hall grand foyer.
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