The excitement was palpable as 256 MD students celebrated Orientation Week in the Faculty of Medicine, which began August 19.
“I’m excited to meet my new U of T family. So far, everyone is endlessly inspiring and interesting,” said Paige Zhang, an incoming student who completed her undergraduate degree in physiology at the University of British Columbia.
Dean Catharine Whiteside welcomed the new class at the annual Dean’s Breakfast on August 21.
“The next four years will be the most important adventure of your lives. Most of you, if not all, thrive on challenge – it was pretty challenging preparing for and applying to medical school,” she said. “Some of you are perhaps less sure about the adventure part and more concerned about the challenges that lie before you. But I know all of you are deeply committed. You may not know exactly what type of medicine you will practice eventually, but you share the common values that drive all of us here in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.”
Alumni also offered some words of wisdom to the incoming class.
“In order to give good care, it will be as important for you to understand the person who is ill as it is to understand her or his disease,” said Donald Cowan, Professor in the Department of Medicine and a graduate of the class of 1956. “In the words of the great William Osler, ‘In no profession does culture count for so much as in medicine.’”
The week also included tours of the University’s fully affiliated hospital partners, talks by the Ontario and Canadian Medical Associations and the Faculty’s Office of Health Professions Student Affairs as well as social events, which included a formal dinner at the CN Tower and camping at Hart House farm.
With Orientation Week behind them, William Silverstein, who is joining U of T after completing the Bachelor of Medical Sciences program at Western University, is now looking forward to his classes.
“I did a basic science degree and learned how scientific principles relate to human health and improving it, but I’m excited to apply my knowledge to clinical applications,” Silverstein said.
The week of activities set the right tone for Zhang, who felt confident joining U of T Medicine.
“The Faculty is dedicated to training excellent physicians, community leaders and caring citizens. The faculty, staff, hospitals and learning environment here are incredible,” Zhang said.