School of Medicine recruits largest class in history

Engineer-turned-doc advises students to 'stay positive, sensitive'
By Staff

Chair of the Department of Family Medicine Frank DeGruy, MD, MSFM, talks with Maggie Tillquist after she receives her stethoscope.

The University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine recently welcomed 160 entering students, the largest class in school history.

The new students received white coats and stethoscopes during a special matriculation ceremony on Aug. 13. In addition, they received advice from keynote speaker Daniel Johnson, an engineer-turned-physician who urged the first-year scholars to exhibit curiosity and humility.

Johnson, chief of palliative care for Kaiser Permanente's Denver region, called the traits "the most important attributes for doctors."

During his talk, Johnson spoke of the need for the medical students to learn to connect with patients and their families, as well as with classmates and other physicians. He also emphasized the importance of physicians admitting any shortcomings and seeking the support of others when they need it.


Associate Dean of Alumni Relations Bill Maniatis, MD, helps student Sarah Recktenwall-Work with her coat.

Rob Feinstein, MD, senior associate dean of education, and Bill Maniatis, MD, senior associate dean of alumni affairs were among those in attendance who helped members of the class of 2013 into the short white coats that designate physicians in training.

Several department chairs took turns hanging stethoscopes around students' necks, and students signed a pledge to abide by the School of Medicine's honor code.

The school also inducted fourth-year medical students into the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and presented Ben Honigman, MD, head of the division of emergency medicine, with a faculty teaching award.

More than 800 family members and friends attended the ceremony.


Fourth-year medical students mingle after they are inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. The society recognizes fourth-year medical students who exhibit exemplary values.