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Penn State College of Medicine welcomes entering class of 2021

Penn State College of Medicine welcomed its incoming class of medical students July 12 through 16 with a weeklong orientation. The event was hybrid with both in person and virtual instruction and activities. This is the first time in two years the students were able to gather together in-person for orientation activities.

“I want to recognize the hard work and dedication of the faculty who participated in the admissions process and helped assemble an outstanding class. Having the students here in person is an important first step to engage them in the program and the school as a community,” said Dr. Dwight Davis, senior associate dean of admissions and student affairs. “We are proud to welcome students from diverse backgrounds and institutions, including those who identify with male, female and nonbinary genders.”

Two students wearing surgical masks throw beanbags during lawn game.

Members of the incoming class participate in the Penn State College of Medicine lawn games.

The class consists of 152 first-year students, including 12 who will participate in the University Park Curriculum and 140 who will study at the Hershey campus. The College of Medicine selected the students from 8,815 applicants. The students come from 19 states and 77 different colleges and universities. They have participated in basic science and clinical research, have served in more than 125 service organizations and speak 28 languages.

Among them is Madison Heebner, who has an undergraduate degree in German from the University of Pittsburgh and is entering the University Park Curriculum. Originally from Dillsburg, Heebner chose the College of Medicine because she thrives “in small and collaborative communities where everyone works together, which spurred my interest in University Park.”

“There is no other field that so succinctly combines science, service, leadership opportunities, and the commitment to lifelong learning and discovery, both scientific and interpersonal,” she said.

Other students chose the College of Medicine largely because of its curricular approach, as well as its ties with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

“I chose to attend Penn State College of Medicine because of its close integration with a world-class teaching hospital and the small-group, problem-based learning style that the school promotes,” said Matthew Kraus from Warminster, Pa., a student with an undergraduate degree from DeSales University who’ll study at the Hershey campus. “The unique incorporation of medical humanities gives me confidence that I will learn to become a well-rounded physician. Hershey is also a great place to de-stress and explore some of my outdoor interests like running and cycling!

“I want to become a doctor so that I can provide compassion and hope to those who are most in need,” Kraus added. “The opportunity to treat and improve the outcome of patients during their most vulnerable moments is a challenge that I do not take lightly, and one that I will keep in the forefront of my mind throughout my training.”

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