Doctor of Medicine Class of 2018 begins studies at the SMHS

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News Article

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School of Medicine & Health Sciences


GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Seventy-eight first-year medical students, members of the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) Class of 2018, begin their journey next week to become physicians at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Students are formally inducted at the school's White Coat Ceremony. The students, 47 men and 31 women, range in age from 21 to 36 years, with the average age of 24.

They come to medical school with work experience in an array of fields and academic degrees in air traffic control, ancient studies, anthropology, art, athletic training, biochemistry, biology, pre-health, cell and neuroscience, chemistry, classics, communication studies, computer engineering, environmental design, exercise science, forensic science, French, geography, health science, honors, mathematics, medical laboratory science, microbiology, music, nutritional sciences, philosophy, political science, premed, psychology, Spanish, theology, women's studies, and zoology. Some of the students already hold advanced degrees, including master's degrees in architecture, operations management, systematic theology, electrical engineering, and global medicine. One student holds a doctoral degree in pharmacy.

David O. Monson, M.D., will deliver the keynote address for the ceremony titled "We've Only Just Begun." Monson lives with his wife Lola Rognlie Monson, also a UND graduate, in River Forest, Ill., a Chicago suburb. He earned his BA and BS degrees in medicine from UND in 1961. After two years at UND's medical school, the Climax, Minn., native received his medical degree at the University of Minnesota in 1963. He completed an internship and general surgical residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago followed by a surgical fellowship at the Lahey Clinic in Boston. Monson served as a major in the Army Medical Corps for two years, one of which was in Vietnam, and then returned to Rush University Medical Center for a cardiothoracic fellowship. Monson practiced adult and pediatric heart surgery at Rush and taught students, residents, and cardiac fellows at Rush Medical School with an academic rank of associate professor. He retired 12 years ago as a cardiac surgeon at Central Dupage Hospital in Winfield, Ill. River Forest remains their main home, wishing to be near their two daughters.

Medical students' first week is dedicated to orientation, including introduction to UND's nationally recognized, four-year, patient-centered curriculum, where basic and clinical sciences are taught in the context of patient cases. Special emphasis is placed on the students' new roles and expectations of them as health care professionals.

Orientation concludes with the White Coat Ceremony at 5 p.m., Aug. 8, in the Alerus Center Ballroom, 1200 S. 42nd St., in Grand Forks. Students receive their first white coats, physicians' traditional garment, which have been donated by the North Dakota Medical Association, and they will recite the Oath of Hippocrates, an ancient vow to uphold basic professional principles.

Each student will receive a lapel pin engraved with "Humanism in Medicine," which was donated by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. After the ceremony, the school will host an indoor picnic for students, family and friends in the Alerus Center.