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Pulse - Summer 2017 Dean's Message: Something to Celebrate

We are a country of immigrants, of seekers — or contributors, as I prefer to say — from every corner of the earth. This is the United States — a brilliant multicolored engine of talent, ingenuity, free expression and, at its best, compassion and grace.

The College of Medicine is a reflection of that society and we celebrate it. All are welcome here. From its roots, our medical school stared down the stereotype of "doctor." We are heirs to a legacy that opened the doors of medical education to women, to people of color, to Catholics and Jews. Today, it is difficult to absorb the fact that this was unusual.

Daniel V. Schidlow, MD

Daniel V. Schidlow, MD

Every year, a number of our incoming medical students either came to the United States as children or were the first generation in their families to be born here. I had lunch in June with a group of eight third-year students; all but one of them were first-generation Americans and first-generation doctors.

Their families were from India, Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Taiwan … they might also have represented the world's major religions. Among more than 100 student affinity and interest groups are, just for example, the Catholic Medical Association, Drexel Christian Fellowship, Maimonides (Hillel International), Latino Medical Student Association, LGBTQ People in Medicine, Muslim Student Association of DUCOM and South Asian Medical Student Association.

Our parent university was founded on a similar ideal to our predecessor schools: to provide practical education to students regardless of gender, race, religion or socioeconomic class. As we bid a proud adieu to the diverse students of 2017, we look forward to welcoming the Class of 2021, pleased to know that about 18 percent of them are first-generation college graduates. It is gratifying to see that part of the American Dream at work.

We base our admissions on holistic review — a three-dimensional portrait of the applicant. Of course, this is medical school; there are requirements and standards. But in addition to scores, GPAs, accomplishments, there is personhood. Who is the person? What would they bring? We can see the interest, energy and kindness in our students, when they come to us and when they leave. Our school reflects our country: a broad, inclusive multifaceted culture, joined by our common humanity.

Daniel V. Schidlow, MD
Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean
Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs

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