I feel exhilarated by the start of the school year. In August we welcomed 260 new medical students from 25 states across the country. Our admissions were more competitive in every regard — more applicants completed the full application process, a record number of accepted students turned down other schools to come to Drexel, and the first-years' GPAs and MCATs are higher as well.
Daniel V. Schidlow, MD
We also are proud to have 260 new graduate students in our Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies, including doctoral students and MS students in the Divisions of Biomedical Science Programs, Pre-medical and Pre-health Programs, and Interdisciplinary and Career-Oriented Programs.
Diversity is fundamental to our mission. The number of medical students who are from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in medicine as defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges has increased to 12 percent of the class this year. At Drexel we have an inclusive definition of underrepresented in medicine that takes account of socioeconomic factors; 22 percent of the class is in this group.
Last fall, Linda Berardi-Demo, EdD, had just joined us as the associate dean for admissions and enrollment. We are so happy to have her! When we asked her to relay her experience in her almost first year here, she said she has been continually impressed by the dedication of the faculty and staff to the students and the College, and is honored to be "on this team." What I like best is she said she smiles everyday as she pulls into the parking lot, excited to start her day at "such an amazing place!"
I like to point out that not only does interest in our school remain strong, but it is obvious that our culture resonates with many people who, given the option, decide to come and join us instead of going to other places.
Brett Haislup, a first-year student who completed our post-baccalaureate premed MS degree, says he chose Drexel for medical school because it has a reputation for graduating students who become outstanding clinicians. But equally important, he says, he feels he "belongs to the environment at Drexel, where students are encouraged and supported by their peers and faculty." Also, he noted the College of Medicine's strong focus on helping the Philadelphia community.
For me this is a time of renewal — renewed enthusiasm, renewed commitment. We are now just a year away from the implementation of the new medical education curriculum, and things are already happening. For example, the renovation of a new teaching space (Room 104, for those in the know) with state-of-the-art technology has been completed at Queen Lane to enhance our ability to provide "flipped classroom" instruction in a team-centered environment.
I look forward to being on the scene when I resume my weekly lunches this semester with the Queen Lane students.
Daniel V. Schidlow, MD
Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean
Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs