Welcome Week Activities Launch for New Cohort of Students

Class of 2027 starts at KPSOM with pomp and excitement

August 09, 2023

KPSOM Class of 2027 take part in fun group photos at the 2023 Welcome Event

Members of the KPSOM Class of 2027 take part in fun group photos marking their time at the 2023 Welcome Event

The start of medical school is a major achievement for students who have long strived toward this lofty goal, and many on this path overwhelmingly want to commemorate this feat in a special, memorable way. On July 23, 2023, the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine (KPSOM) Welcome Event certainly delivered by receiving and celebrating the Class of 2027 at the Altadena Town & Country Club. On students’ arrival and check-in, activities kicked off with a unique playing-card-themed icebreaker that provided students the perfect chance to forge social connections with classmates from their Learning Community Groups. The new class was also able to participate in exciting activity challenges issued by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) prompting participants to take group selfies, take photos in order from tallest to shortest, or with those wearing particular colors, and more.

Laura Hamilton, MA, KPSOM Director of Student Affairs, officially welcomed the incoming class of students in her address and presented a comprehensive overview of the OSA and Office of Student Engagement (OSE) during a slideshow highlighting the KPSOM community and student life. Hamilton also introduced KPSOM team members who offer students additional support such as the leadership team and Angela Dash, PhD, MPA, KPSOM Ombuds Officer.

KPSOM Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs Anne Eacker connects with new students, staff, and faculty at the 2023 Welcome Event

KPSOM Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs Anne Eacker connects with new students, staff, and faculty at the 2023 Welcome Event

Anne Eacker, MD, KPSOM Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs, followed Hamilton with opening remarks to the students. Members of OSA and the Office of Admissions led attendees in lively discussions designed to help students get to know their peers as well as members of KPSOM’s varied student support teams, which was followed by a welcome toast by Abbas Hyderi, MD, MPH, KPSOM Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education. Students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to mix and mingle throughout the event, and students happily donned their white coats for the first time ever during individual professional portrait photoshoot sessions. The event wrapped with each student receiving their welcome gift backpack filled with KPSOM swag.

On the heels of the Welcome Event, the new class of students went directly into a two-week-long Early Immersive Experience (EIE), which served as an introduction to the school, curriculum, community, and the medical profession. EIE is a combination of both traditional orientation-type activities and a curricular primer to the “what, how, and why” of KPSOM’s curriculum. During this period, students have an opportunity to interface with key faculty, staff, and educational leaders who continue to provide students support throughout their medical school journey.

Members of the KPSOM Class of 2027 toast to the start of their medical school journey

Members of the KPSOM Class of 2027 toast to the start of their medical school journey

“EIE is designed to help students appreciate the KPSOM community, which includes the peers, faculty, and staff our students will forge bonds with during their time at medical school, and the course helps students gain early insights into the school’s mission, innovative curriculum, and the integrated health care delivery system they will become immersed in during their education at KPSOM,” said Matthew Silver, MD, FACEP, KPSOM EIE Course Director. In addition, Silver explained that the EIE orientation period helps students to: understand the importance of self-care, self-growth, well-being, and resilience; appreciate the role of the community and its resources in promoting health and preventing disease; explore the professional attributes and skills required for life-long learning; and obtain the essential knowledge and skills required to provide patient care, including the core physical exam, communication skills, and basic life support. 

On July 26, Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, KPSOM Founding Dean and CEO, gave welcome remarks to students on the convening stairs at the end of the school day not only to express excitement for the new class of students but also to emphasize the importance of building bonds and forging relationships during medical school.

“Welcome to the beginning of a life-changing journey. You’ve made an extraordinary commitment to service for patients in communities. Joining the medical profession comes with great privilege and great responsibility. We have no doubt that you are poised to become exactly what our school aspires to support - compassionate leaders, life-long learners, and courageous leaders of change within the profession and society.”

Dean Schuster added, “I’m thrilled by the talent, commitment, and passion of this incoming class… You’re joining a community I am proud to be a part of and I hope you’ll feel the same. We’re looking forward to getting to know you over the months and years ahead.”

After Dean Schuster’s remarks, the students joined an on-campus Faculty and Student Mixer on the fourth floor of the school. The special event included a warm welcome to guests from Maureen Connelly, MD, MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Community Affairs, a toast to the Class of 2027 from Dean Schuster, and a greeting on behalf of the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) from Resa Caivano, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Health Systems Science. The reception rounded out with a speed meet-and-greet activity led by Jordan Moberg Parker, FAC Secretary, that prompted students and faculty to connect and mingle.