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Medical Parents Association Welcomes Parents of the Class of 2027

Every year, on the eve of the first day of school at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, the Medical Parents Association (MPA) hosts a special orientation that offers parents and family members a meaningful glimpse into what lies ahead for their aspiring physicians. The evening includes an overview of the Miller School’s curriculum, policies and student resources, as well as information to help parents support their student’s journey.

Exterior photo of building and courtyard on medical campus.
The virtual orientation for parents and families covered the medical education curriculum, clinical program, student affairs, scholarships and other aspects of life at the Miller School.

“As parents of a third-year student, Tanya and I know how exciting of a time this is for you and your family,” said Nelson Garcia, M.D. ’96, who, along with his wife, Tanya Lawer-Garcia, M.D. ’96, is co-president of the MPA, a volunteer organization that serves as a liaison to the faculty and administration representing medical students and their parents and families.

“We can tell you that the Miller School is a phenomenal institution,” said Dr. Garcia. “Tonight is your chance to learn everything you need to know about the student experience at the Miller School of Medicine.”

The virtual orientation touched on every aspect of the Miller School program, the medical education curriculum, the clinical program, student affairs, diversity and inclusion programs and the DREAM scholarship program.

Headshot of Dr. Henri R. Ford
Dean Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A.

Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School, welcomed parents with words of gratitude and pointed to the school’s top 50 position in U.S. News & World Report’s national rankings.

“I’m proud to say your students are joining a premier academic medical center that is at the forefront of advances in clinical medicine, and leading breakthroughs in biomedical research,” Dean Ford said. “Our mission is to equip our students to become transformative leaders who will shape the future of medicine, lead health systems to deliver value-based health care, and champion discovery and its translation into clinical interventions to improve the health of humanity.”

Record Number of Applicants

For the Class of 2027, the Miller School received more than 10,000 applications, a record for the school, and matriculated a total of 201 students. This year’s class boasts the highest GPA and MCAT scores in school history, with an average GPA of 3.76 and an average MCAT score of 515.

Fifty-three percent of the M.D. class comes from outside the state of Florida; 55% are women, 61% are minorities and 31% are minorities underrepresented in medicine.

Headshot of Dr. Latha Chandran
Latha Chandran, M.D., M.P.H.

“Our goal is to turn our students into future thinkers and leaders in medicine,” said Latha Chandran, M.D., M.P.H., executive dean for education and policy, founding chair of the Department of Medical Education and Bernard J. Fogel Chair in Medical Education. “Self-directed, confident, mature and thoughtful physicians who can make a real impact on society and health care.”

NextGenMD’s Novel Approach

Gauri Agarwal, M.D. ’00, associate dean for curriculum, provided an overview of NextGenMD, the Miller School’s innovative curriculum.

NextGenMD takes a novel approach to integrate practical application and self-directed learning in three interconnected disciplines — foundational science, clinical care and health systems science — while emphasizing key attributes of professionalism and communication skills.

The innovative curriculum is designed to foster real-world application, including integrated clinical clerkships, integration of foundational sciences throughout the curriculum, opportunities for scholarly pathways and dual degrees, and expanded time for career exploration and training.

“We’re really excited to dream with our students and to have them accomplish everything that they want to accomplish,” said Dr. Agarwal.

A Plethora of Programs and Resources

The orientation served as an opportunity to learn about the Miller School’s commitment to diversity. Nanette Vega, Ed.D. ’20, assistant dean for diversity, inclusion and community engagement introduced her office’s work to create a welcoming and equitable learning experience throughout medical school.

“Through a variety of services and programs, we aim to engage everyone in our collective work toward inclusive excellence, promoting equity and celebrating the rich diversity not only at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, but in our community at large,” Dr. Vega said.

Hilit F. Mechaber, M.D. ’95, senior associate dean for student affairs, shared the many resources available to students for dealing with the inevitable challenges that will arise during their training.

“One of the hardest things for our medical students to recognize is that sometimes they will need help, and there is no shame in asking for that help,” said Dr. Mechaber. “All of our resources are available for them so that they don’t feel alone, they don’t feel isolated, and they know we are all here to support them.”

The MPA orientation concluded following a Q&A session with student leaders from key volunteer student groups.

Dr. Lawer-Garcia encouraged parents to join the MPA and help their students achieve their goals.

“The Medical Parents Association has plenty of opportunities to assist our students,” she said. “We are comprised entirely of volunteer family members just like you. We will be looking forward to your participation and we would love for you to join us.”

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Tags: Class of 2027, medical alumni, Medical Alumni Association, Medical Parents Association