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Class of 2021 Welcomed at Geisel

Ninety-two members of the Geisel School of Medicine’s 221st class were enthusiastically welcomed to Hanover by the Dartmouth community as part of this year’s orientation for incoming medical students, which runs from August 7-11.

The first-year medical students are participating in a variety of orientation activities this week, which include team-building exercises, social events, and a community service day where they do volunteer work with local organizations.

Geisel Dean Duane Compton, PhD, began orientation with the inspirational quote, “Don’t live life as a spectator,” from Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner, who is best known for his daring jump from a helium balloon in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

“Your time of being a passive learner is over,” said Compton. “I urge you to take every opportunity you have during medical school to reach out and help others, to be active and engaged in what you’re doing, and to make the most of your time here.”

Christopher LaRocca, MD, chair of Geisel’s Admissions Committee, stressed the important role classmates have in helping each other learn. “Each of you have with you 91 other very special people who will share with you over the next four years tremendous growth and learning, tears and laughter, hard work and accomplishment, and almost certainly, who will make you a better person (not that you’re not all pretty good already),” he said.

LaRocca shared a number of interesting facts about the Class of 2021, including:

  • The 92 new students were chosen from a pool of 6,781 applicants.
  • 57 percent of the new class are women and 43 percent are men.
  • 27 states are represented (the largest being California with 12 students), and the class includes several members of Native American tribes.
  • The new class has 19 students who were born outside the U.S., and includes citizens of Canada, Ireland, Nepal, Vietnam, India, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • The class comes from 63 undergraduate institutions (Dartmouth was at the top with 12 students), including two military academies (West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy).
  • Many of the students have been involved in health care in roles such as EMTs, wilderness first responders, nurses, hospice and clinic volunteers, health educators, and patient navigators.
  • The class includes a number of accomplished musicians, artists, and athletes (including a professional musician, a Boston Ballet Nutcracker dancer, All-American swimmers, and champions in billiards and golf).
  • Many members of the class have already participated in research projects, both at the bench and in clinical studies.

Orientation Photo Gallery*:

*All photos by John Gilbert Fox