Members of the 2018 cohort of the Wayne State University School of Medicine's Pre-Medical Post Baccalaureate Program celebrated their graduation from the program with administrators, faculty and family members during a June 14 reception.
The event marked the 50th anniversary of the Post Baccalaureate Program.
Established in 1969 as the first program of its kind in the country, the non-degree-granting program assists qualified students in preparation for admission to medical school. The program encourages diversity in health care professions by increasing the number of physicians from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
"The Post Baccalaureate Program is an extremely valuable asset, not only to our school, but to our city, to the people of our community and to medicine. The program was developed to create change, for without change there can be no growth," Dean Jack D. Sobel, M.D., told the audience during the reception in the Margherio Family Conference Center. "We are at our best when all members of our society participate fully, and for all to participate fully there must exist the possibility for opportunity. The Post Baccalaureate Program is just that - an opportunity to prove oneself at this great university and in the field of medicine."
Herbert Smitherman Jr., M.D., M.P.H, vice dean of Diversity and Community Affairs, noted that as many as 200 Michigan undergraduates apply for the program each year. A maximum of 16 students are accepted annually for the free program, which immerses students in classes that prepare them for consideration for entry into medical school. This year's class contained 12 students.
In the last 30 years, Dr. Smitherman said, the School of Medicine has invested $35 million in the program, which has graduated 401 participants who have gone on to become physicians.
"We are committed to diversity and inclusion, and to remaining a school of opportunity for the community," he said.
The 2018 graduates, Kafa Alshohatee, Caroline Amakove, Jaila Campbell, Manar Edriss, Eghosa Igbinobaro, Ejona Korcari, Emelia Moore, Isadore Porter, Nikki Taylor, Shanita Thomas, Michael VanHall and Adi Zaclli, will now wait to hear if they have been accepted into this year's incoming class of medical students.
New this year, each of the graduates received a certificate of completion from the Office of Executive and Professional Development.