Skip to Main Content

Dean highlights progress on campus in reunion address

June 19, 2018
by Adrian Bonenberger

2018 was a year of progress for Yale School of Medicine. The largest class in school history graduated (125), donating the largest Graduating Gift since the “Graduating Class Gift Campaign” started in 2009. The highest number of students seeking residency positions matched (123), and that number comprises all the students seeking residency. The school continued to make concrete progress toward equality.

Dean Robert J. Alpern, MD, Ensign Professor of Medicine, described these and other advances to alumni attending his “State of the School” address the morning of Saturday, June 2nd.

“We’re doing a great job of producing leaders for future generations of medical providers,” said Alpern, “and, just as importantly, those leaders—you—continue showing up to support their school.”

The State of the School talk offers alumni a chance to catch up with important events as well as reflect on short-term trends of which they might not have been aware. This year’s talk highlighted alumni thesis digitization, alumni-student mentoring, and the Alumni Grand Rounds.

Alpern praised the school’s efforts to recruit excellent students. “Yale School of Medicine continues to be among the most selective,” he said, illustrating this claim with several data points. The class of 2021 saw 4700 apply for 104 positions. With a cumulative GPA of 3.84 and an MCAT median score of 520.5 (36 on the old scale), the class was prepared for the rigors of YSM’s coursework. They also demonstrated leadership or other traits beyond high grades; important because of the emphasis Yale places on extracurricular opportunities for growth and accomplishment such as Student Research Day, and the HAVEN Student Free Clinic.

According to Alpern, the school of medicine’s endowment has grown to its biggest point yet, underlining effective fundraising efforts as well as innovative investments. The school attracted over $35 million in income for research. Alpern also pointed out the renewal of its National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award to support innovative research and train the next generation of investigators. These led to further expansion of full-and part-time faculty within the medical school.

Another arena for discussion was the expansion of Yale Medicine, and the consolidation of hospitals within the Yale New Haven Health System umbrella, giving the clinical practice a span of influence and reach from Greenwich, Connecticut in the west to Torrington in the north, up to Westerly Hospital in Massachusetts to the east.

Before handing out Distinguished Alumni Awards, Alpern concluded his speech by discussing the 100 Years of Women at Yale School of Medicine Symposium, held Friday, June 1st. “We want everyone at the school to feel like they have an equal stake in the system,” said Alpern. “It’s about teamwork, and taking care of each other. And we can only do that if people feel respected on a basic level. We still have work to do, but the symposium also showed how far we’ve come.”

Submitted by Adrian Bonenberger on June 19, 2018