Class Act

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Students recite the honor pledge

Members of the Class of 2013 recite the honor pledge at their White Coat ceremony in August 2009. Photo by John Reis

Class of 2013 marked by service, excellence

Story by Anne McMillin, APR

Each new class brings 62 unique perspectives and achievements to the School of Medicine, enriching its student body for four years and ultimately, the alumni ranks for a lifetime.

The Class of 2013 matriculated in the fall of 2009 and is well on its way toward achieving academic excellence and service to the community.

"This class is a remarkably conscientious and engaged group of students, with a real strong commitment to giving back," said Peggy Dupey, Ph.D., associate dean of student affairs.

"The class raised almost $450 for the Committee to Aid Abused Women’s Adopt-a-Family program during this past holiday season."

In addition, applicants interviewing for admission at the medical school this fall have been very impressed with the warm reception they’ve received from this class, according to Dupey.

The Class of 2013 is comprised of a broad representation of students from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Of the 62 new students, all but eight are Nevada residents and split nearly equally between men and women.

Two dozen students hail from Washoe County while about 20 call Clark County home. Three more represent Nevada's rural counties. Their average age is 23, making this a particular young class.

They cite a variety of reasons for applying to medical school. Some wanted the opportunity to serve or be challenged while others recall friends or family members whose medical conditions led them to the profession.

Matthew Caley had a childhood friend who didn’t return from summer vacation one year. "I learned that he had died in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant. In that moment, I was changed. It was too late to help him, but I wanted to do what I could to help those like him," Caley wrote on his application.

Mark Albers' brother fought a childhood illness that almost took his life. "It is through the ever-growing relationship with my brother that I have come to truly appreciate the medical profession," he said.

"I could not imagine my life without my brother. They best way I know how to appreciate this blessing is to share it with others. Becoming a doctor is my way of striving to fulfill this aspiration."

Justin Ramos is looking forward to the academic challenge of learning the medical profession.

"Being a physician will push me personally and intellectually. My mind will be challenged on a daily basis as I perform clinical problem-solving tasks that demand deductive reasoning in addition to mastery of the sciences," he said.

Cecilia Rhodus sees being admitted to medical school as a path to serving those in need.

"Medical school will allow me to work with the underprivileged as a qualified doctor," she said.

More than two-thirds of this class earned their undergraduate degree in biology, biochemistry, chemistry or biological sciences, but majors range from creative writing to engineering to Spanish.

Members of this class have held previous occupations as a violinist, a volleyball coach, a graphic designer and a nanny. They speak a multitude of languages including French, Korean, Danish and Tagalog.