Class of 2027 Takes First Steps in Medical School Journey at Orientation

Of the many milestones medical students reach, one event commences them all — orientation. This week, 201 future physicians in the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Class of 2027 took the first steps in their medical school journey. The momentous occasion equipped them with essential guidance for their lifelong path of transforming lives and serving the global community.

The 201 members of the Class of 2027 await their first steps into their medical journey with excitement.

Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer, welcomed the newly minted medical students and offered assurances that the Miller School community will support them through challenges and successes.

Dean Ford addresses the Class of 2027 with his words of wisdom.

“You’re embarking on the most rewarding journey and the fulfillment of your most precious dream: to become a physician,” Dean Ford said. “You’re experiencing myriad emotions. But let me reassure you that we will work together to make sure you excel and thrive. On behalf of the entire Miller School community, welcome to the family.”

The Class of 2027 was selected from a group of more than 10,000 applicants and comes to the Miller School from 24 states and 60 different colleges. The cohort comprises 110 women, 90 men and one other identity, with an average MCAT score of 515.

“You’re here because you possess the power to become a successful physician,” emphasized Latha Chandran, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., executive dean for education, chair of the Department of Medical Education and professor of medical education and pediatrics. “Remember, there is no substitute for hard work, as it will be the key to your success, along with treating people well and embracing lifelong learning.”

Get to Know the Class of 2027

Hear from a few members of the Class of 2027!

Erica Nicole Lamkin is excited to become a physician-scientist who can apply her skills in the lab and clinic.

Erica Nicole Lamkin, M.D./Ph.D. Program

Why do you want to become a physician-scientist?

It all started when I was very little. I would accompany my mom frequently to the hospital, as she was diagnosed with a primary immune deficiency. The physician-scientists involved in her care were the ones who diagnosed and treated her. To me, this was comforting — to find there were people who not only wanted to care for my mom and family, but also use their scientific skill set to improve medicine for future generations.

Why did you choose the Miller School?

I chose the Miller School because of its fantastic M.D./Ph.D. program. I felt the community here was so strong, the directors were fantastic, and I felt I could fit in in many different ways. Knowing the Miller School has strong programs in biology, cancer biology and immunology, I felt confident coming here.

What are you looking forward to on your M.D./Ph.D. journey? 

Especially for this year, I’m looking forward to learning about medicine and the human body. Although I’ve studied molecular genetics, I haven’t had the chance to dive into other components of medicine. For the entire program, I am excited to build my critical thinking skill set and become a physician-scientist who can apply all these learned traits together in the lab and clinic.

Ryan Hellinger, M.D./M.P.H. Program

Ryan Hellinger is following in two uncles’ footsteps; both were Miller School alumni.

Why did you decide to pursue medicine? 

I made that decision at a very young age. When I was a little kid, I remember playing with my friends and seeing other children unable to join due to their physical disabilities. Those experiences resonated with me, and I wanted to pursue something that allowed me to help children like those live their fullest life on multiple levels. When I learned that a doctor does that, I knew that’s what I needed to do. As I went to high school and college, I started exploring this avenue more and knew I needed to pursue medicine.

What was it about public health that stood out to you? 

What made me realize its impact was when I volunteered for ACEing Autism. During my time in the organization, we taught children on the autism spectrum how to perform physical activities and socialize. Through that community initiative, I saw the value in helping a whole population at a time.

How do you plan to use your M.D. and M.P.H. degrees? 

The dream is to one day be a Miami physician and become part of this extremely unique and diverse health care system. My public health background will allow me the opportunity to explore it with a deeper understanding. When I step into the clinic, I want to understand my diverse patients better, what brought them here, and do public health interventions at a community level.

Kerven Cassion wants to use his medical and public health degrees to make a difference in Haiti.

Kerven Cassion, M.D./M.P.H. Program

What motivated you to get into the medical field?

My parents came here from Haiti in 1995 and faced the challenge of giving my brother and me a better life. When I was six, my mother got into a car accident, and it stuck in my mind, the image of her in the hospital surrounded by the doctors and nurses who formed a team to rehabilitate her and get her back to who she is today.

Why is it important for you to give back to Haiti through medicine? 

It stems from realizing the dichotomy of my life compared to that of my family still in Haiti. They need more basic health care, infrastructure and education than we have here. At the Miller School, I have this opportunity to be in Miami, a cultural hub for Haitians, and if I can just become a doctor here, take what I learn and bring it back to Haiti, I can make a difference.

Is there anything specific you are most looking forward to at the Miller School? 

The journey itself, growing, and the challenges that come with medical school. Come May 2027, I am most looking forward to the person that I will be standing in the mirror as I reflect on my time here since 2023.

Tags: Class of 2027, Dean Henri R. Ford, Department of Medical Education, Dr. Latha Chandran, M.D./M.P.H. Program