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The ambitious dream to establish a new kind of medical school at Illinois is now a reality. In July 2018, Illinois welcomed 32 diverse and exceptionally accomplished students to chart a new path for reinventing healthcare.

The first class represents an impressive array of experiences and backgrounds. Twenty-two out of the 32 students have undergraduate degrees in engineering, five have mathematics or computer science degrees and five have biology or biochemistry degrees. Thirteen of the students have graduate degrees, three of which have a PhD.

Half of the 32 students are women. Six of the students, or nearly 19 percent of the class, are underrepresented minorities in medicine. Ten were born outside of the United States. Another seven were born in the state of California. Each student speaks an average of three languages. One student is the first in their family to attend education after middle school.

Illinois native Elizabeth Woodburn is one of two Illinois alumni in the college’s inaugural class. She says being part of this innovative program makes her proud of her Alma Mater.

“When I think about how I want to grow in health care as a future physician-innovator, I feel compelled to fill gaps not just in knowledge, but also in communication and understanding,” she said. “Creating a solution isn’t enough; medicine presents a constant stream of challenges that require a tailored blend of foresight, expertise and willingness to try a different approach.”

Learn more about the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.