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Stanford's largest medical class ever starts school

incoming medical students

The newest class of Stanford medical students started school late last month as the largest ever to don white coats and step into their first anatomy class. The 102 students, an increase of 10 over last year, also includes one of the first sets of co-matriculating twins, both biology majors from MIT.

A story I wrote for Inside Stanford Medicine explains the unexpected bump in class numbers for the school, which likes to keep its numbers low, and provides a few interesting facts and figures. Approximately 180 people were offered admission from an applicant pool of more then 7,300, and the modestly bigger class was the result of a higher-than-expected acceptance rate. But Charles Prober, MD, senior associate dean for medical education, says the school hopes to return to its target class size of about 90 next year:

"Our philosophy is to stay small so that we can provide an optimized journey for each of our students," Prober said. Stanford enrolls fewer first-year medical students than many of its peers, such as Harvard and University of California-San Francisco, both of which generally enroll about 165.

Also of interest, the newest class is almost one-fourth foreign born and heavy on advanced degrees:

The new class is made up of 47 women and 55 men. Twenty-three were born outside the United States, including nine in China and five in South Korea. Fifteen of the students already hold advanced degrees: 10 have master's degrees, and five have PhDs. Fourteen earned bachelor's degrees in nonscience majors. The students come from 39 different colleges and universities. Stanford, as usual, tops this list, with 19 students. There are also 11 from Yale, 11 from Harvard and seven from MIT. Eight of the students participated in varsity athletics, and one-third have published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Previously: Congratulations to the Class of 2013!, As part of annual tradition, budding physician-scientists display their work, No imposters here: Stanford grad students reassured as they begin school and “Something old and something new” for Stanford medical students
Photo of student orientation by Norbert von der Groeben

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