An Update From Tucson's Student Government Chair

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Greetings UA College of Medicine – Tucson Alumni,

As the new school year begins and summer begins to fade, students are gearing up for the upcoming challenges they will face in the classrooms and clinics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

At this time, we welcome the incoming first-year medical students with a three-day orientation, which will culminate with a reception Friday, Aug. 3, at Downtown El Charro Café, hosted by the new second-year class.

The Class of 2016 also will receive shiny new Apple iPads in place of paper notes, reminding us that the ArizonaMed iPad Pilot Program is now in its second year and becoming more refined as students provide input. Keeping in line with the new technological advancements, the students at the UA College of Medicine also will benefit from the updated MedCats website. MedCats ( is now a functional place for student life, where we have access to view a complete calendar and sign up for College of Medicine events. We also can keep track of our Commitment to Underserved People (CUP) hours, join clubs, view clinical and research opportunities posted by faculty and staff, post pictures and buy, sell or rent items.

In addition, the ASTEC  (Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center) lab, a space where students can practice clinical skills on high-tech mannequins, also has been updated and relocated to a convenient location on the second floor of the College of Medicine – Tucson building.

Through all of these exciting changes, there have been a few things that have remained the same. The recently renovated Student Lounge continues to be an incredible space for students to unwind and meet for spirited games of foosball and ping-pong. Student clubs and CUP programs have been thriving and we even welcomed two new clubs this year, MedVets and the ping-pong club.

Furthermore, the supportive and caring environment at the college has not been compromised. Many faculty members have remained steadfast in their dedication to teaching future doctors. Norm Koelling continues to perform the most beautiful dissections anyone has ever seen, and Dr. William Rappaport still can be found lecturing and spending countless hours in the lab, working with students. In fact, a T-shirt displaying Dr. Rappaport and Norm’s faces with the phrase “Rap and Norm are my Homeboys,” were made and sold last year by Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association (APAMSA)!

We also cannot forget about Doctors James Dalen, Richard Sobonya, Marc Tischler, Anna Graham, Achyut Bhattacharyya, Jack Nolte, and John Palmer, all of whom, to this day, instill the excitement of molecular pathways, pharmacology and pathology into the willing (or sometimes, unwilling) minds of their students. Doctors Larry Moher and John Racy also can still be found at the college, providing their support and words of wit and wisdom to each class.

Finally, as another year approaches, plans are in place to continue to improve the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and focus on our interprofessional relationships with the other Arizona Health Sciences Center colleges. This new student-run effort seeks to pull together individuals and resources to build strong social and educational connections between the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Public Health. With the continued support of our faculty and staff, students will continue to learn, succeed and help improve the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. Last but not least, we would like to welcome Lori Arviso Alvord, MD, into her new position as associate dean for student affairs and admissions. We look forward to working with her this upcoming year and beyond.

Most Sincerely,

Nicole Anne LaHood
Chair, Student Government
MD candidate, Class of 2015
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson