I want to congratulate our newest alumni, the class of 2013! They are a bright, committed and diverse group of 109 new physicians: 64 women and 45 men, and by ethnicity, seven Hispanic students and two Native Americans. The Class of 2013 also includes 10 men and women who graduated with dual degrees: six MD/MPH, two MD/MBA and two MD/PhD.
One third of these new physicians will pursue residencies in Arizona, fulfilling a great need in our state, and nearly half will go into primary care – family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics -- fulfilling another critical need for our state.
Our commencement festivities included a keynote presentation by Darrell G. Kirch, MD, President and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges. During his visit to the UA campus, Dr. Kirch spoke about the rising costs of tuition and health care, and the role of academic medicine in creating solutions.
Dr. Kirch congratulated the UA College of Medicine – Tucson for taking positive steps to change the delivery of health care. He praised our Centers of Excellence, the Arizona Telemedicine Program and the Interprofessional Education and Practice (IPEP) Program, as well as our community health and wellness programs that serve as social awareness and training venues for UA medical students.
As we look ahead, we will continue our efforts to directly influence careers in health care. Our summer “bridge” programs represent an impressive amount of internships and camps that encourage high school students from throughout the state to pursue degrees in medicine. For decades, programs such as Med-Start, Camp Scrubs and Bone Camp have cultivated the next generation of physicians.
And speaking of that next generation, in July we welcome our new residents. They come from throughout the nation to begin training with some of the best academic physicians in the country. In August, we will welcome the Class of 2017 at our annual White Coat Ceremony.
We appreciate your support, and look forward to staying connected during the months and years ahead. I know you join me in welcoming our newest alumni. Go, MedCats!
Steve Goldschmid, MD
Dean, UA College of Medicine – Tucson