Whether it’s a passion, life experience, vocation or fate that brought them here, the first day of medical school is a major milestone for future doctors. The Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont Class of 2022 arrived on campus August 13 to participate in their first course – Orientation – and begin the process of filling their brains with the people, places and information that will support their journey to earning an M.D. over the next four years.
The 119 new medical students in the Class of 2022 are residents of 25 different states, with most hailing from Vermont (29), followed by Massachusetts (15), California (14), Connecticut (14) and New York (9). The class has a median undergraduate GPA of 3.7 and an average MCAT score of 510 (500 is average across U.S.).
But becoming a doctor takes so much more than smarts – compassion, communication, listening, clinical decision-making and more are among the many critically important skills students need to acquire and hone during their training. This week, they’re getting their first taste of all of that, including seeing their first patient on day one. (Check out the Class of 2022 Orientation schedule here.)
Find out what sparked an interest in medicine in three of our newest students:
- Growing up with a mother diagnosed with schizophrenia in a low-income household in Houston, Texas, Marine Corps veteran Jose Calderon’s only access to healthcare was through free mobile clinics. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Calderon helped low-income students attain their U.S. citizenship and hone their U.S. history and English grammar knowledge as a volunteer at the Citizenship Department at the Central American Resource Center. He says his “combat deployment to Afghanistan not only taught me that life is fragile, but also placed high value on being a leader in the community.”
- Isaac de la Bruere grew up in Colchester, Vt., the son of a mother with deep French Canadian roots and a father from the northeast African country of Eritrea. As a person of color, he struggled with people’s perceptions of what he could and couldn’t do, but after completing a two-year Sports Medicine program at Burlington Technical Center during high school, he proved to himself that he could excel academically. Two trips to Ethiopia helped build a relationship with his grandparents and family, giving him a sense of connection he’d been lacking. A founder of UVM’s Minority Association of Premedical Students club, he says “I got a lot of help from other students, faculty and staff. Now I’d like to pay it forward and inspire people to think about themselves in a way they hadn’t thought of before.”
- Morrisville, Vt. native Jenna Wells had childhood epilepsy, and because of it, she “was always curious and wanted to learn more.” She earned a degree in health science from Long Island’s Stony Brook University and immersed herself in health-related experiences, including a medical mission in Panama, caring for the elderly, and working and conducting research in the emergency department at UVM Medical Center. The first generation college graduate says “becoming a physician at UVM is a dream come true.”
Members of the Class of 2022 will receive their first white doctors’ coats at the White Coat Ceremony in UVM’s Ira Allen Chapel on October 5, 2018.