The Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the world’s first engineering-based medical school, graduated its inaugural class on May 15, 2022.  The convocation marked a historic moment for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, its surrounding community, and the field of medicine.

Aaron Brown, MD, is hooded by Dr. Kris Carpenter
Aaron Brown, MD Class of 2022, is hooded by Drs. James Kumar and Kris Carpenter at Carle Illinois College of Medicine’s Inaugural Class Convocation May 15, 2022

A partnership between UIUC and Carle Health System, Carle Illinois welcomed its inaugural class in 2018. “For hundreds of years, physicians have been trained under the same model, but not at Carle Illinois. Medicine is changing, technology is changing. Our students have made a conscious decision to be at the forefront of re-engineering medicine,” Inaugural Dean, King Li MD, MBA, said.

One hundred percent of Carle Illinois’ graduates successfully matched with a medical residency training program, and several will serve at some of the top teaching hospitals in the U.S., including BI Deaconess (Harvard), Mayo Clinic, Stanford, Georgetown, Duke University, and New York University – Long Island.

“These residencies saw the same thing in these physician innovators that we saw back in 2018 when we were trying to choose our first class. They recognize the quality of the students coming out of this program,” Interim Dean Uretz Oliphant said. “These students have started a great legacy at Carle Illinois.”

Twenty-three members of the inaugural class graduated on Sunday, May 15, 2022. They will begin their graduate medical education as residents in July 2022.  Several members of the inaugural class have chosen to postpone graduation to complete an extra year of research that supports their designated area of medical specialty.

Dr. Lidija Barbaric is hooded by Dr. Kris Carpenter during Convocation Ceremonies
Dr. Lidija Barbaric is hooded by Drs. James Kumar and Kris Carpenter during Convocation Ceremonies

With the graduation of its inaugural class, Carle Illinois ushered in a new era of leadership with Dr. Mark S. Cohen joining the college as its new dean. “One of the best ways to truly define, predict, and adapt to the future is to build it. These graduates prove that Carle Illinois is producing outstanding physicians and leaders who are uniquely prepared to take on the complexities that the future of medicine will bring,” Cohen said.

Carle Illinois College of Medicine emphasizes human factors, design thinking, medical technologies, and entrepreneurship to prepare caring, compassionate, and skilled physician innovators for the practice of modern medicine. Created in 2015, Carle Illinois is now home to nearly 160 students and more than 600 affiliated clinical and academic faculty members.

The Carle Illinois Inaugural Class Convocation live-stream was recorded and can be found here.

Contact: Ryann Monahan, Director Marketing and Communications, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, 217.300.6658,