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"UnderRated" skewers rankings and—as ever—the med school faculty

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2006 - Autumn


When the School of Medicine dropped to number 11 in the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings for best research medical schools last spring, the news may not have been welcome, but it was perfect fodder for the second-year show presented by the Class of 2008, and produced by Carolyn Avery, Chris Gibson, Lars Grimm, Mary Hatcher, David Merrick and Jen Voorhees. UnderRated was chock-full of vignettes, video pieces and song-and-dance numbers woven into a tongue-in-cheek plot about student protest over Yale’s lowered ranking and the faculty’s response to the “crisis.”

The show did justice to the tradition of impersonations of faculty members, with Kristina Zdanys as Nancy R. Angoff, M.P.H. ’81, M.D. ’90, HS ’93, associate dean for student affairs, who urged a baffled Dean Robert J. Alpern, M.D., played by Shane Lloyd, to take charge of the rebellious students.

In the end the students decided the ranking system itself is at fault and should mirror the Yale pass/fail system. In the finale, “Walk Like a Physician,” sung to the tune of the Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian,” the Class of 2008 came to the conclusion that a magazine’s rankings don’t matter—it’s the quality of education that students get at Yale that really counts.