Samuel Kim, a second-year medical student at the UMKC School of Medicine, spoke from experience when offering words of advice to the incoming Class of 2028 Friday morning during the school’s annual InDOCtrination Ceremony.
People need people, Kim said, reflecting on his time as a first-year medical student.
“Even if you forget everything else from day to day, remember you need each other,” Kim said.
Kim shared his message as this year’s recipient of the annual Richard T. Garcia Award. The honor is given annually to a second-year student for outstanding leadership, compassion toward fellow students and first-year academic performance.
With a packed auditorium of family and friends looking on, the School of Medicine introduced a class of 105 new students who are beginning their journey toward becoming physicians. One of the morning event’s highlights was the introduction of the annual Garcia Award winner.
In receiving the award, Kim related how instrumental his classmates were during his first year of medical school.
“You all voted me as this award recipient because you thought I was the best in you, but honestly, you’re the best in me,” Kim said, speaking to the second-year class. “Every day I can smile, I can fail, I can succeed and I can study because you make it worth it. You remind me what goodness, patience, intelligence, prudence, love and wisdom look like. You’re my support.”
School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., echoed Kim’s encouragement for the first-year students to look to one another and others around them for the support they will need in navigating the school’s six-year program.
“Your friends, your family, your medical school peers and all of the staff and faculty here today and those you meet along the way will bring you support in times of distress and rejoice and celebrate with each of your accomplishments,” Jackson said. “It will be a wild ride at times.”
The first-year class is comprised of students from across the United States, from Massachusetts to California and come from small towns of 2,000 to metropolitan areas of more than 9 million people. It is also a diverse group with nearly one-fourth of the class made up of racial groups underserved in medicine.
Each of the students was introduced with their Year 1 docent units. The class then listened to a reading of the Oath of Physicians. It is the same oath the class will recite in six year upon graduation.
Jackson left the group with one final encouragement.
“Keep your passion, keep your focus and boundless energy. That is my hope and my vision for you today as you start your medical school journey,” Jackson said. “I promise you, the time is going to fly by.”