First Full ‘Genes to Society’ Class of Johns Hopkins Medical Students Graduates on May 23
A distinguished group of 279 graduates will embark on their future careers as physicians and scientists at the convocation ceremony of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine on May 23, 2013, at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore.
A total of 115 M.D. degrees, 137 Ph.D. degrees and 27 master’s degrees will be conferred. Nine of the graduates will receive both an M.D. and a Ph.D. degree. The graduates come from throughout the United States and 23 countries. There are 150 women and 129 men. The oldest graduating student is 46 and the youngest is 23.
This is the first graduating class of medical degree students at Johns Hopkins to have completed all four years of a new, innovative curriculum called Genes to Society. The goal of the curriculum is to teach students to think differently about health and disease and to incorporate genetic, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors when evaluating and treating patients.
“The Genes to Society curriculum is another example of Johns Hopkins’ leadership in medical education for the past 130 years,” says Paul B. Rothman, M.D., dean of the school of medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “We are preparing students to identify the unique factors that impact the health of individuals and the broader community, and to navigate the tremendous changes that are occurring in the nation’s health care landscape.”
Genes to Society includes courses on health care disparities, patient safety and palliative care. Topics such as ethics, population health and the structure of health care systems are woven throughout the curriculum. There is more focus on education about substance abuse and pain management. Students begin interacting with patients and learning clinical interviewing skills in their first week of medical school.
One of the Johns Hopkins graduating medical students, Matthew Huddle, says, “When I first came to medical school, I didn’t realize how important societal determinants are to understanding a patient’s health and developing a treatment plan. I now have a broad perspective on the issues I’ll have to consider as a doctor.” Huddle plans to become an otolaryngologist and will do his residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
While the Genes to Society curriculum applies to those studying for an M.D. degree, the school of medicine graduation also includes those earning Ph.D. degrees as well as master’s degrees in health sciences informatics and also in medical and biological illustration from the internationally acclaimed Art as Applied to Medicine Program.
“Our goal at Johns Hopkins is to train the next generation of leaders in medicine and biomedical science,” says Roy Ziegelstein, M.D., vice dean for education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “It is so wonderful to watch students celebrate their personal accomplishments knowing that their hard work and dedication, and the training that they received here, will allow them to make amazing contributions to scientific discovery and the health of our population for many years to come.”
The convocation speech will be delivered by Jon Lorsch, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry who will become the director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences this summer.