(ROUND ROCK, TX) — More than 120 guests, including 84 incoming Texas A&M Health Science Center (HSC) College of Medicine students, gathered at the HSC campus in Round Rock on Saturday, April 17, 2010 to meet current medical students, meet Round Rock clinical faculty members and tour the campus as part of the M1 Welcome Weekend.

In a series of firsts, this was the first gathering of the Class of 2014 and the first such event at the new Round Rock campus that opened in December 2009.  The students, their parents and spouses were welcomed to the Round Rock campus by Associate Dean for Admissions Filo Maldonado, Director of Admissions for the Temple campus Leila Diaz and, Chair of the Admissions Committee Dr. Thomas Peterson.

“Admitting students to medical school is a most rigorous process,” Mr. Maldonado said. “Be prepared to assume tremendous responsibilities in your own life and the lives of your classmates and future patients. You will learn facts about yourself and those around you at an extraordinary and intimate level.”

Dr. Peterson added, “We, the faculty, staff and Admissions Committee, share in your joy because we’ve been through this with you over the past year. Thank you for entrusting us with your medical education.”

Additionally, Ms. Diaz charged the students to, “start forming the relationships that will become more important over the next four years than you could ever imagine. Remember, each of these campuses, Bryan-College Station, Temple, Round Rock, and Houston, is your campus.”

After hearing from the admissions staff, the Class of 2014 learned about the College of Medicine’s different student organizations, including Health Circus, a traveling health fair in the Brazos Valley; Martha’s Clinic, a student-run, free clinic for the homeless population in Temple; the Christian Medical Association (CMA), a student organization in College Station and Temple that organizes medical mission trips to foreign countries; and the Texas Medical Association-American Medical Association groups in College Station and Temple.

“We are all so excited to finally meet each and every one of you,” CMA Co-President and soon-to-be second-year medical student James Lee said. “Your fellow classmates are incredible and we can’t wait to share our medical school experiences with you as you start your journey to becoming a doctor.”

The students then toured the Clinical Simulation Center with its computerized training manikins designed to simulate illnesses and injuries.

As the Class of 2014 received information about preparing for the next four years of medical training, Interim Dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. Edward Sherwood, gave a few pieces of advice.

“Medical school is an adventure, so brace yourselves!” Dr. Sherwood said. “Change the rules and revise your measures of success. What matters most is being a physician. Remember that a good physician is knowledgeable, scientifically competent, caring and, most importantly, passionate. Care for people, not patients.”

The class will next gather for their White Coat Ceremony in July shortly after their first day of medical school. At the White Coat Ceremony students will receive the white coat indicative of medical students and take the Oath of Commitment.

— Dhwani Chauhan