Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons building facade

VP&S Welcomes Its Most Diverse Class of Medical Students

August 16, 2021

Orientation begins today for the incoming MD class at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and this year's class is the most diverse in the school's history: 28% of the Class of 2025 belong to underrepresented minority groups. That's an increase from 22% in the Class of 2024. The 140 members of the Class of 2025 were chosen from a field of 8,080 applicants.

“This past year was a challenging one for the applicants, and the Class of 2025 is composed of resilient, brilliant, and diverse individuals who will contribute greatly to VP&S and the future of medicine,” says Anne Armstrong-Coben, MD, senior associate dean for admissions at VP&S.

During the Class of 2025 selection process, all interviews and information sessions were conducted virtually. “I wish to thank our faculty, our current students, and the admissions staff who all worked to recruit this amazing class while also handling the extra pressures the pandemic has placed on everyone,” says Armstrong-Coben.

Earlier this summer, Columbia’s incoming MD students received a special welcome to the medical campus in Washington Heights. Members of the VP&S Class of 2024 produced a video performance based on songs from the Broadway hit musical “In the Heights” to introduce the incoming class to their new neighborhood. Read more and see the video.

On Aug. 20, the VP&S Class of 2025 will participate in the White Coat Ceremony, an annual tradition at Columbia when incoming students are welcomed into the medical community by Columbia physicians and educators. VP&S was one of the first medical schools in the United States to have a White Coat Ceremony, when it was founded at VP&S in 1993 by the late Arnold P. Gold, MD, professor of clinical neurology and clinical pediatrics, to reinforce a strong commitment to humanistic practice. The ceremony will be broadcast live here

About the VP&S Class of 2025

The class has 71 men and 69 women.

The class includes 10 students enrolled in the Columbia-Bassett Program, which combines traditional medical education in New York City at VP&S and hospital-based outpatient and inpatient clinical education at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York.

The class includes 14 students who will train as physician-scientists in the MD/PhD dual degree program. Two students are entering the accelerated three-year PhD-to-MD program, and two students are entering the MD-Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery program.

Members of the Class of 2025 come from 34 states and Washington, D.C.

Ten percent of the class is the first generation in their family to attend college.