Marian University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM) welcomed 162 new students during a “White Coat Ceremony” on Sunday, August 10 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis. The students comprise MU-COM’s second class; the state’s first medical school in 110 years opened its doors in August 2013.
The White Coat Ceremony is a celebration held by more than 100 medical schools nationally, marking the beginning of a student’s journey to becoming a doctor. During the ceremony, students receive a white coat, the uniform traditionally worn by physicians across the U.S.
“This is a wonderful day for these students and their families,” Paul Evans, D.O., dean of MU-COM, said. “It recognizes both the achievement that it took to get to this point, as well as the start of the hard work that lies ahead. These students represent the future of health care in Indiana. I think we are all in very good hands.”
Dr. Evans said nearly 4,000 people applied for the 162 seats that were available to be filled. The result is a class that surpasses national averages of other osteopathic medical schools in nearly every measurable category:
- Average undergraduate GPA of 3.62, compared to national average of 3.52;
- Average MCAT (medical school entrance exam) score of 27.30, compared to national average of 26.87;
- Average Science GPA of 3.56, compared to 3.45 national average.
There are 87 Indiana residents in MU-COM’s newest class, comprising 54 percent of the class. Those students can receive $10,000 annual scholarships from the State of Indiana ($40,000 total) if they remain in Indiana after graduation and practice in a primary care field in rural or underserved areas of the state.
“There is a significant shortage of doctors in Indiana,” Dr. Evans said. “It’s important that the state do all it can to retain the students graduating from its medical schools to become Indiana physicians. The Indiana General Assembly deserves to be commended for its innovative approach to incentivizing Marian University students to practice in our state.”
Of the 88 undergraduate colleges and universities represented in this year’s MU-COM class, 26 are Indiana institutions. That includes Marian University, which will place three graduates in the class.
“We’ve made strategic investments in recent years in our School of Mathematics and Sciences, with the expectation that it would become a feeder for our College of Osteopathic Medicine,” Marian University President Daniel J. Elsener said. “It’s extremely rewarding to see that investment come to fruition. And I’m sure it’s motivating for our undergraduate students to know that they too will have opportunities to get accepted into some of the best graduate and professional schools in the nation if they apply themselves during their four years at Marian University.”
In total, there are students from 19 states in the class. There are also 11 international students from six foreign nations – Canada, Mexico, France, India, China and Vietnam.