For the second year in a row, orientation for the upcoming M.D./M.P.H. class at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine was held on June 28 via Zoom.
Shirin Shafazand, M.D., M.S., professor of medicine and deputy director of the M.D./M.P.H. program, moderated the event as the class of 2025 received congratulatory messages and advice from deans, faculty members, and current students in the program.
More than 60 participants kicked off the Zoom event with a series of short welcome messages starting with University of Miami President Julio Frenk, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. His message focused on how the two degrees are inter-dependent and integrated for the betterment of health care.
“As an M.D. who chose a career in public health, I have always been an advocate for connecting the two,” President Frenk said. “You are embarking on this professional path at a watershed moment in human history, one where more people understand as never before that health is not just an outcome of prosperity but one of its key determinants. By choosing this joint degree, you are intentionally integrating health and health care. I am excited to welcome all of you to what I know will be a rewarding career. On behalf of the entire university, congratulations.”
"Starting a New Chapter"
Representing Miller School of Medicine Dean Henri Ford, Latha Chandran, M.D., M.P.H., executive dean and founding chair of the Department of Medical Education at the Miller School, welcomed the new class.
Daniel Lichstein, M.D., regional dean of medical education, offered advice to the upcoming class.
“You are all starting a new chapter in your lives, this is a chapter like anything you have experienced today and unlike anything you will experience in the future,” he said. “My advice to all of you is to take advantage of every moment, constantly observe, always be curious, and never stop asking why. Please be sure that you make reflection a part of every day, maintain your humility, and always treat every patient with the respect, compassion, and dignity they deserve. You will never go wrong if you do that.”
Diverse and Inclusive
Attendees also heard first-hand accounts from current students at the Miller School such as Henry Olano, second-year student, and Miller School Student Government Association president. M.D./M.P.H. students also joined with a panel at the end of orientation sharing their experiences in the program and advise on capstone projects, commute, and life at the university.
“I wanted to welcome you guys, first of all, this is a very exciting time; I remember being in your shoes a couple of years ago,” Olano said. “Even though you will be given a lot of information, there are three things I'd like you all to take away. First is to find out and know your resources, including faculty, staff, and other students. Second, student government is here to facilitate your experience, and third is to make sure you have fun. I’m sure many people have told you that medical school is super hard, but it is absolutely doable, and I think the best way to make sure that you’re successful is to make sure that you're having fun while doing it.”
The M.D./M.P.H. class of 2025 consists of 52 students, with 18 from Florida and 34 from out of state. The class further shows the Miller School’s commitment to diversity and inclusion with 44 women, 31 of them as minorities and 19 students being from demographics underrepresented in medicine.
The opening orientation will be the first in a series for the upcoming class with a continuation on Aug. 5–7. The annual White Coat Ceremony for all 205 students in the class of 2025 will take place on Aug. 20.