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Student Gianina Monestime attends the orientation assembly.
August 4, 2016

UMMS welcomes 150 students in the School of Medicine Class of 2020


  • Medical School
The class of 2020 is the largest School of Medicine class in UMass Medical School’s history with more than 150 students.

Numbering 150 strong, the largest School of Medicine class in UMass Medical School’s history filled the faculty conference room Wednesday, Aug. 3, for orientation, the first day of their journey toward becoming doctors.

“Once I decided to go to medical school, I knew I wanted to be at UMass, to stay in my hometown and to give back to this community,” said Worcester native Nili Amir, who earned two undergrad degrees at the University of Arizona, in physiology and in dance. “I’m really dedicated to serving Central Massachusetts, so this seemed like the perfect place for me.”

Student Pawen Mathew, from Winchester, said he chose UMMS on the advice of friends and colleagues.

“I’ve known about UMass for a while, growing up in Massachusetts and everything I heard about this school was that people loved it,” said Mathew, who earned his undergrad degree in neuroscience from Duke University. “My primary care physician went here too and he talks about it all the time.”

Shushmita Hoque came from Atlanta, Ga. to attend UMMS.

“When I visited here for second-look day and interviewed, I really loved the atmosphere,” said Hoque, adding that her sister goes to Amherst College. “This seems like a really supportive and close-knit school.”

The SOM Class of 2020 includes 119 MD and eight MD/PhD students from Massachusetts; and 21 MD and two MD/PhD students from out of state. As called for in the UMMS strategic plan to increase both the number of physicians-in-training and expand opportunities for diversity, the School of Medicine class size was increased by 25 students from last year. This is the first year that out-state-students seeking MDs were accepted, though a limited number of out-of-state MD/PhD students have been accepted for many years. The class includes 81 women and 69 men. Thirty members of the class are the first in their families to go to college.

Noting that it was 39 years ago that he was a new medical student at Tuft’s University School of Medicine, Chancellor Michael F. Collins welcomed students, calling them one of the most impressive classes.

“We have an incredible community here,” Chancellor Collins said. “You are an extremely competitive class, one of the most competitive classes in medical education.”

Seventy-four students turned down multiple acceptances to other schools to attend UMMS. Twenty-two earned their undergraduate degrees at one of the UMass campuses.

Collins encouraged students to remember that is a great privilege to serve patients and implored them to choose their words very carefully in talking to patients and their families.