The University at Buffalo has welcomed its largest-ever medical school class for a new semester. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says UB is calling this a "milestone".
"We have increased our class size from 144 to 180, so it's a pretty big jump,” remarked David Milling, associate professor of Medicine.
Milling is very excited about a new class of medical students. Their "white coat" ceremony took place on Friday where students attended the official "calling of the class", taking an Oath of Medicine to begin their medical school journey in Buffalo.
Milling told WBFO News among the reasons why the school was able to boost its enrollment includes a brand new UB Medical School that will soon open in downtown Buffalo.
“With new space that can accommodate them, increase class sizes – so a perfect opportunity for us to do this. Workforce issues in our area and outside of our area as well,” noted Milling.
Of those new 180 medical students, a majority are from New York State and 78 are from Western New York. 40 received their undergraduate degree at UB.
“Yes, I think that is important. We are a state school and part of our mission is to train our local young folks who are interested in medicine, both in the Buffalo area – the eight counties surrounding us and New York State in general,” Milling explained.
Despite the difficult studies these students have ahead of them, Milling noted they have very few students who drop out in the first year. He speculates that they may lose one or two students.
“This is a rigorous process to get students into medical school. Certainly, that doesn’t mean that everyone who comes in should become a physician, but we do try to make sure that we support our students as best we can once they are matriculated,” replied Milling.
UB medical students also participate in work in the local community, volunteering at Hospice, food pantries or assisting with suicide hotlines. In past years, students have conducted cancer, geriatrics and diabetes research.