Brody welcomes Class of 2016
By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services
Dr. Roytesa Savage, left, assistant dean for student affairs, helps new medical student Delvon Blue put on his coat at Friday's white coat ceremony at the Brody School of Medicine. Photos by Cliff Hollis
(Aug. 10, 2012)
The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University welcomed 80 new medical students today, the largest class in school history.
The 40 women and 40 men in the Class of 2016 range in age from 21 to 36. All are North Carolina residents. Twenty-five counties, from Buncombe in the west to Beaufort in the east, are represented in the class.
Dr. Mark Bowling, an assistant professor of medicine at ECU and 2001 Brody graduate, told the new medical students to remember four words as they study medicine and become physicians: duty, honor, service and compassion. He said students have a duty to learn, give hope and relieve suffering; should honor the goals of seeking justice and honesty; serve by putting patients before themselves; and show compassion by treating others the way they themselves would want to be treated.
As students sat with their white lab coats folded in their laps, Dr. David Collier, another 2001 Brody graduate, quipped, "If you put this coat on and walk through the hospital, you'll actually appear as if you know something." Collier is an assistant professor of pediatrics and president of the Brody alumni society.
ECU's newest medical students received their undergraduate degrees from 24 different colleges and universities, with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill having the most graduates, 22. ECU has 13 alumni in the class, and North Carolina State University has 12.
Student Alex Reichmeider of Wake Forest, who received his bachelor's degree from ECU in May, said he's ready to get started. "It's exciting," he said. "I'm a little bit nervous about it, but everyone has said if you can make it here you can do it. It's just going to be a lot of work."
The class includes three Brody Scholars, Drew Norris of Clayton, Elaine Shao of Chapel Hill and Porshia Underwood of Asheville. The scholarship program pays tuition and living expenses and encourages participants to design their own summer enrichment program that can include travel abroad.
The Brody Scholars program honors J. S. "Sammy" Brody, who died in 1994. He and his brother, Leo, were among the earliest supporters of medical education in eastern North Carolina. The legacy continues through the dedicated efforts of Hyman Brody and David Brody. Subsequent gifts through the Brody Foundation have enabled the medical school to educate new physicians, conduct important research and improve health care in eastern North Carolina.
The scholarship is administered through the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation.
Also in the class is Amber Heckart of Holly Springs who received a Fullerton Scholarship, worth $25,000 a year.
Kendall Liner of Wilson received the Bost Scholarship, worth $2,000 a year.
Alexandria Booker entered medical school this year through ECU's Early Assurance Program. When she began her undergraduate studies at ECU, she was guaranteed admission to medical school, provided she met certain academic goals, without having to take the medical school entrance exam.
The symbolic white coats are a gift to class members from the Brody School of Medicine Alumni Society, said Karen Cobb, director of development for the foundation. More than 70 alumni donated approximately $6,150 to pay for the coats and a welcome breakfast for students. Participating alumni were given note cards to write a personal note to their students, and Collier gave one to each new student.
In addition to the 80 medical students, 30 students began their studies in the school's master's of public health program. Total enrollment in that program exceeds 100, and three of the new medical students are ECU MPH graduates.
Tatiana Acosta, far right, recites the medical student pledge along with fellow students at Friday's white coat ceremony at the Brody School of Medicine.