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U.S. economy in free fall! Yale endowment down! Med school scrambles for $$$!

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2009 - Spring


Carrying on a 60-year-old tradition, the second-year class mocked its teachers and mentors with irreverence and affection at their show in February, “The Great ST Depression.”

The show’s 16 sketches centered on a loose plotline based on current events: the School of Medicine has lost its endowment and the dean is laying off faculty and eliminating financial aid. Entering survival mode, faculty and students must get part-time jobs—at s’wings or the Cedar Street food carts, for instance—or as Dean Robert J. Alpern, M.D., Ensign Professor of Medicine, suggests in one sketch, by holding up and robbing s’wings, a Crown Street eatery.

The cast of characters was familiar. Associate Dean for Student Affairs Nancy R. Angoff, M.P.H. ’81, M.D. ’90, HS ’93; Alpern; and Margaret J. Bia, M.D. (played by Larissa Chiulli, Derek Kennedy and Lauren Hackney, respectively) all received considerable skewering. Standout moments included the song “Docta Bia,” based on ABBA’s “Mamma Mia” and Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny from the Block”; a video sketch featuring Shanta E. Kapadia, M.B.B.S., dishing up Indian food at a cart on Cedar Street; and the song “My Goodies/Rizzilicious,” featuring Matthew Singleton on stage and Carl Berdahl as the voice of Lawrence J. Rizzolo, Ph.D., based on Ciara and Petey Pablo’s “My Goodies” and Fergie’s “Fergilicious.”

Other highlights included a 14-member orchestra; a video parody in which David L. Katz, M.P.H. ’93, M.D., played an overadrenalized juice fanatic; and a video screening of the Class of 2011’s class prank—a parody of a Saturday Night Live sketch about bodily functions in which faculty made faces of delight or disgust. “Our faculty had a great sense of humor and recognized that we only make fun of them out of love and respect,” said Patricia Peter, one of the show’s two executive producers.

Planning for the show began last summer, and about 90 of the class’ 100 members participated. “We’re very proud of how collaborative it was,” said co-producer Janet Chiang. Henry Park directed the show.

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