Dear School of Medicine Community:
I hope everyone had a great summer filled with the joy of family, friends and loved ones. As we begin the academic school year, I want to take a moment to extend a warm welcome to our wonderful UVA School of Medicine community.
This school year, we welcome our new recruits, including 160 medical students, 52 BIMS students, 60 public health sciences master’s students, and 152 residents and fellows, all ready to embrace the exciting opportunity to learn, discover and grow as they continue their careers in medicine.
These bright new learners join our returning students and trainees as well as our dedicated faculty and staff, whose passion and commitment to education, research, patient care, and community are the driving force behind our academic excellence.
It’s already been a very busy few weeks for our newcomers as many participated in workshops, an ice cream social, a field trip to Carter’s Mountain, orientations, and a day of service in the Charlottesville community. Some enjoyed a visit from the UVA Health System Therapy dogs, a particular favorite activity for many on Grounds, including myself! And of course, our new medical students received their white coats, a symbolic representation that they have officially started their exciting journey toward becoming incredible physicians and are committed to the virtues of our noble profession.
As we come together this year in our collective mission—to transform health and inspire hope for all Virginians and beyond—each and every one of us plays an integral role in fulfilling this mission whether you are gaining new clinical skills or mastering the anatomy of the human body; immersed in groundbreaking research and unraveling the mysteries of medicine; delving deeper into your clinical rotations learning to be empathic and compassionate caregivers; or supporting or teaching the next generation of medical professionals. You all are integral members of this amazing School of Medicine; and during the academic year, I encourage you to embrace this tight-knit community and cherish the human connections that lie at the heart of our profession.
Amid the rigors of academic life, please also remember to take care of yourselves. It’s important to nourish your physical and mental well-being as often as possible no matter your role in our community. Utilize your outlets, the things that refresh and recharge you. For some, that may mean reading a good book or hiking Humpback Rock, for others it’s a trip to Bodo’s. For me, it is watching a totally nerdy sci-fi movie. Please prioritize self-care.
I look forward to another fantastic academic year. I am honored to serve as the dean of the School of Medicine and to be part of this incredible community. Enjoy the journey and embrace every opportunity to inspire, learn, and grow as we continue to shape a brighter and healthier world for all.
Thank you for your dedication, and I wish you all a rewarding and successful academic year.
Melina R. Kibbe, MD
Dean, UVA School of Medicine