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As health care change accelerates, U-M Medical School welcomes 172 future physician leaders

Incoming class of medical students arrives from Michigan and 32 other states

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — With American health care poised on the brink of major changes that will give many uninsured people access to care, 172 new students started down the path to becoming doctors yesterday at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Chosen from more than 5,440 applicants, and coming from 33 states and 73 colleges and universities, they received their new white coats and stethoscopes on Sunday in a ceremony steeped in tradition and symbolism.

Today, they begin the first week of their multi-year journey to become leaders within the medical profession and in the health care community.

While they’re at Michigan, they’ll learn to work in a health care environment that embraces new models of inter-professional and team-based care, work with advanced health information technology, and experience first-hand the impact of major provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act. 

“This is a time of dramatic change in health care, and our educational and clinical environment will provide these students an unparalleled experience in understanding how physicians can lead the adoption of innovative approaches to improving health,” says Rajesh S. Mangrulkar, M.D., associate dean for medical student education at the U-M Medical School. “This class, and all of our students, will be the future change agents in medicine, receiving the training they need to continue to transform health care.”

The incoming students have all been paired with another student and to a patient and his or her family, for the Family Centered Experience. Here, they learn first-hand about the impact of illness on the social determinants of health over time. They will also have an opportunity to serve patients who don’t have insurance at the Student Run Free Clinic in Pinckney, Michigan.

The students began down the path to becoming physicians at the annual White Coat Ceremony, held since the 1990s as a formal welcome to the profession of medicine. 

Before an audience of nearly 1,000 family members, faculty and alumni at U-M’s Hill Auditorium, the students each received their first white coat and stethoscope, funded in part by members of the U-M Medical Center Alumni Society. Some had their coats – the cloak of their future profession -- draped on them by family members who also graduated from medical school at Michigan.

Each student also received a pin provided by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a public foundation dedicated to fostering humanism in medicine. The pin symbolizes a shared commitment to providing compassionate and competent patient care.

Here are some more facts about the incoming class of U-M medical students:

  • Only 578 of the 5,441 applicants were selected to come for an interview.
  • 47 percent are from Michigan; the rest are from 32 other states.
  • Their undergraduate degrees are from 73 different institutions, including 55 students who got their degrees from U-M, and also students who graduated from 10 other in-state institutions.
  • The class is virtually evenly split among men and women.
  • They have an average GPA of 3.77 and average total MCAT score of 34.
  • The academic background remains quite diverse, with 45 percent majoring in some form of biological science as undergraduates. But a significant proportion of the class majored in other fields, including social sciences, business, and engineering.
  • Nearly 17 percent of the class comes from groups that are underrepresented in medicine.
  • The students range in age from 20 to 36, with an average age at entry just over 24 years.
  • 14 students were accepted to the prestigious Medical Scientist Training Program, and will study toward both an M.D. and a Ph.D. degree while at Michigan. Another 3 are on the path to get combined medical and oral surgery training.


To see the full class profile, visit

Even as the new class enters, the Medical School is about to embark on a major effort to improve the learning and living environment for medical students. Learn more at

Incoming class of 2013

The U-M Medical School's incoming class of 2013, in front of Hill Auditorium, site of the annual White Coat Ceremony.

For more images from White Coat Day 2013, see the Medical School's Facebook page album


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