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Geisel Welcomes Class of 2020

Interim Dean Duane Compton welcomes the Class of 2020 to Year 1 Orientation. (Photo by John Gilbert Fox)
Interim Dean Duane Compton welcomes the Class of 2020 to Year 1 Orientation. (Photo by Jon Gilbert Fox)

Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine welcomed its 220th class to Hanover, with advice and greetings from Interim Dean Duane Compton, Dartmouth Provost Carolyn Dever, and others at the Year 1 Orientation that began on August 8.

“It’s always exciting to start a new academic year and welcome a new class of students to Geisel,” said Duane Compton, Interim Dean of the Geisel School of Medicine. “This class is impressive for its academic achievements and experiences. Our faculty are looking forward to helping them develop into outstanding physicians and scientists.”

The 92 new students, including 90 MD and two MD/PhD students, represent a small percentage of the nearly 6,700 who applied to Geisel via the American Medical College Application Service. The new class hails from 24 states and 53 undergraduate institutions, with representatives of every Ivy League school, including 14 Dartmouth alumni.

Many of the class already hold advanced degrees, including a PhD in psychology. About 40 percent of the class has already been listed as an author on a scientific paper in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Science, PNAS, and PloS One. One-third of the class has also participated in scientific or healthcare experiences in more than 25 countries outside of the United States. And many students have impressive professional experiences, working or interning at the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the White House Office of Science and Technology.

While classes don’t officially start until next week, the first-year medical students will spend this week in a variety of orientation activities, including team-building exercises and opportunities to get acquainted with their new classmates, as well as with Dartmouth and the local community.

Rand Swenson, MD, PhD (Photo by John Gilbert Fox)
Rand Swenson, MD, PhD (Photo by Jon Gilbert Fox)

Rand Swenson, Chair of the Department of Medical Education, gave the new students important advice for succeeding in medical school, “Medicine these days is a team sport. We all learn from our patients, but most of our education is from our colleagues and our mentors. If you do this right over the next four years or so, you will learn as much from those in your class as you do from any other source including the faculty.”

Interesting facts about Geisel's Class of 2020:

  • The new 92 students were selected from nearly 6,700 applicants to Geisel
  • The new class hails from 24 states and 53 undergraduate institutions.
  • Dartmouth is the most represented college, with 14 graduates, and there are graduates from every Ivy League school in the class.
  • Residents of New York, Massachusetts, and California make up about one-third of the class. 16 students hail from Northern New England, with 8 from New Hampshire.
  • 59 percent of the new MD students are women.
  • Nearly half the class self-identified as non-white.
  • One-third of the class has participated in scientific research or healthcare programs outside the U.S., working in a total of 25 countries.
  • There are three veterans in the class, including a former naval aviator, a marine sergeant, and an army medic.
  • 17 members of the class are EMTs.

Photos from the first day of Year 1 Orientation:

Photos by Jon Gilbert Fox.