Class of 2020 Makes History at Wake Forest School of Medicine

August 11, 2016

Incoming Class has the Highest Number of Female Medical Students

They may not have realized it, but when the entering class of Wake Forest School of Medicine students arrived at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education the end of July, they made school history. The number of female students in this year’s class is the largest number ever admitted to the School.

The Class of 2020 is the largest class in the School’s history at 129 students; 69 of them are women. This is not the first time the number of female students outnumbered the males. That first happened in 2013; there have been two years in which the classes were evenly split between men and women, first in 2004 and later in 2009.

“When I entered Wake Forest School of Medicine in 1978, I was one of only 12 female students,” said Brenda Latham-Sadler, M.D., associate dean, student inclusion and diversity. “This year’s class of 69 women is the most female students we’ve ever had in one class. It shows just how much has changed in those years with the perception, interest and acceptance of women in medicine.”

There is further diversity among this year’s class.

Of the 129 students: 33 percent are from North Carolina; 67 percent are from out of state; 19 percent are minority students considered underrepresented in medicine; and all come with expertise in different undergraduate and graduate majors, representing 47 different areas of study from Africana Studies to Theology.

More than 20 percent of this year’s class is proficient or fluent in Spanish and 19 different languages other than English are spoken among this year’s students.

“We pride ourselves on the wide representative make up of our class of medical students,” said Edward Abraham, M.D., Wake Forest School of Medicine Dean. “We believe the wealth of backgrounds our students bring will make them and their classmates better practitioners because they mirror our community and our patients. We are off to a great start.”

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