A Vanderbilt University Medical Center Alumni Publication

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President's Letter

By Paul Sternberg, M.D.
January 2011

Dear Canby Robinson Society Members:

At Vanderbilt, we continue our longstanding commitment to leadership and our vision for making a transformational impact on health care. That all starts with the education and mentoring we offer to our medical students.

At a recent meeting of the Canby Robinson Society board, John Zic, M.D., walked us through an exercise on the School of Medicine admissions process, designed to deepen our understanding of the caliber of applicants we are attracting and the challenges of selecting a class of students among so many accomplished and talented candidates.

Dr. Zic is associate dean for Medical School Admissions and associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Dermatology. It was quite fitting that he would enlighten us about the admissions process since he was one of the very first CRS Scholars when he was a medical student here.

This interesting simulation exercise included small group reviews of applications, followed by a mock admissions committee discussion. The process really helped to illustrate the thoughtful—but difficult—admissions process that Vanderbilt follows. We learned about the important role of scholarships in making the dream of medical school a reality for our students. We saw firsthand that our endowed scholarship support needs to grow well beyond where it is today. The average debt load for medical students after graduation is $130,000, and we are only able to meet 22 percent of the financial need for medical student scholarships.

These are numbers that need to change. Nothing is more important than helping our students. Supporting our educational programs through philanthropy will make us great and secure our future.

As leaders of the Canby Robinson Society, we have recommitted ourselves to fully participating in the educational mission of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and we encourage others to join us in this effort. Unrestricted gifts to the School of Medicine at the $1,000 level and above support scholarships as do the many endowed scholarship funds created by committed supporters.

I send my thanks to everyone who helps to train our country’s future leaders in health care by making a Vanderbilt medical education a reality.

You can learn more about giving to support scholarships at www.vanderbilthealth.org/givetomedicine.





Paul Sternberg Jr., M.D.
Canby Robinson Society president


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