April 23, 2004

Prospective medical students get second look

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Jayant Shenai, M.D., leads a group of prospective medical school students through the NICU at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital during Second Look Weekend. Photo by Mary Donaldson

Prospective medical students get second look

Nearly 150 students who have been invited to join Vanderbilt School of Medicine’s class of 2008 came back for one more visit last weekend.

The prospective students returned to campus to meet current students and faculty, to take a closer look at the program, the campus and Nashville, and to determine if Vanderbilt is where they want to earn their medical degrees.

“The purpose of this weekend is to help those students invited to join the first year class make the best decision about what school is right for them,” said Harold L. Helderman, M.D., assistant dean of Medical School Admissions. “We hope to show students that Vanderbilt may be that place.”

Second Visit weekend began three years ago and has proven successful in recruiting the best students.

“Each year this event has increased in size…and in the previous two years, nearly two-thirds of the students who return for Second Visit Weekend matriculated at Vanderbilt,” said Steven G. Gabbe, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine.

“If you talk with students [who attended Second Visit Weekend and chose Vanderbilt], they’ll tell you that it solidified their decision, and some will say it changed their minds,” Helderman said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to recruit our best prospects.”

The weekend began on Thursday evening with a dinner hosted by George Hill, Ph.D., associate dean for Diversity and Terence Dermody, M.D., professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology and Immunology and director of the M.D./Ph.D. Program.

The events continued Friday evening with a school-wide celebration at the Titans’ Stadium Club. Saturday morning, the students were welcomed by Harry R. Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs, Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, Steven G. Gabbe, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, and Helderman.

The students participated in “Meet the Faculty” sessions, learned about the Emphasis Program, toured Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and enjoyed dinner and entertainment at the Frist Center. The weekend ended with a bagel brunch on Sunday morning at the Schulman Center.

“What made this year so special was the significant role played by our students — welcoming the applicants, describing the Emphasis Program to them, and demonstrating their artistic skills at the Friday and Saturday dinners,” Gabbe said. “Clearly our students are one of our most important factors in the successful recruiting of the best and brightest students to Vanderbilt.”