The Class of 2011: It's Not Just About Numbers

White Coat Ceremony
A Conversation with Dr. Andrew Frantz

BY ZACK HOOPES

IT’S TRUE THAT NUMBERS DON’T LIE, BUT SOMETIMES THEY don’t tell the whole story. As the Class of 2011 gets settled, P&S asked Andrew Frantz’55, associate dean for admissions, to describe how the class might progress, based on his observations of classes over the years rather than the grade-point averages, MCAT scores, and college records of the class.
      “The numbers are always fairly consistent from class to class,” Dr. Frantz says, “and in terms of student selectivity, which is traditionally based chiefly on MCAT scores and GPAs, P&S over the past six years has ranked between No. 2 and No. 4 among American medical schools. But we look for more than just good GPA and MCAT scores. We look for breadth in a student. It’s the range and depth of interests that characterize a class.”

     P&S has been fortunate to attract students who are talented in many areas — music, literature, theater, athletics — and individuals who are particularly outstanding in one or more of these areas may come to dominate the character of the class. Examples of that in the Class of 2011: a worldclass oarsman who was named the 2003 Male Athlete of the Year by U.S. Rowing, the author of a highly praised novel about growing up in a war-torn country, and a violinist who was concertmaster of the symphony orchestra at a major university. “All of our students are outstanding, and I mention these three only because they represent different areas of interest — athletic, literary, and musical — that consistently characterize our students,” says Dr. Frantz.


Class of 2011 At a Glance
Number of students: 155
Female students 77
Male students 78
Number of states represented 26
Number of foreign countries represented by
citizenship
10
Age range of students: 20–42
Number of students with one year or more of
post-college experience before entering
medical school:

58%



     “Students like to think that their class has a particular identity,” Dr. Frantz says, “but it takes some time for this to emerge. As students get to know one another, certain group activities or newly formed enterprises may gain particular prominence and lend character to a class.”
      Among recent trends in medical school classes across the country, one of the most notable has been a steady rise in the number of women admitted. “In the last few classes at P&S the proportion of women has been very close to or at 50 percent,” says Dr. Frantz, “which accurately reflects the ratio in the applicant pool.” Another trend has been an increase in the number of traditionally underrepresented minority students admitted, reflecting an active effort on the school’s part to recruit and retain these applicants.
      Interest in international aid, working with underserved populations, and studying the social issues surrounding medicine has increased nationally, and Dr. Frantz says he has noticed this trend in recent P&S classes. The emphasis placed on broad perspectives and unique points of view, both at the admissions and curriculum levels, “clearly fosters a strong idealism in P&S students,” Dr. Frantz says. “People here are not only bright, but above that they want to do good in the world.”
      Humanitarian work becoming a more practical and acceptable first step in a medical career may be responsible for this trend, Dr. Frantz says. In the age of globalization, experience with international aid is a valuable tool for any venture in the medical world. “Students want economic security, but they also want to be respected for doing good work, and I think that’s deserved of our graduates,” he adds.

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