Thirty-two new medical students have joined the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. On Sunday, June 30, the engineering-based college of medicine welcomed the class of 2023 at a white coat ceremony at Alice Campbell Alumni Center. This week is the first week of classes for the students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome these 32 outstanding individuals,” said King Li, dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. “Their diverse backgrounds, ambitious goals, and exceptional qualifications make them very well-suited for our unique engineering-infused curriculum and our focus on innovation.”

With 19 percent identifying as underrepresented minorities in medicine, Carle Illinois’ second class represents a diverse group of 32 students with a variety of backgrounds. Students range in age from 21 to 32. Two-thirds of the students have engineering backgrounds, and eleven students hold advanced degrees. The class holds combined GPA and MCAT scores above the national average for students who matriculate into medical school. They represent 27 top undergraduate universities in 13 states, including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Illinois, and the University of Chicago.

“Carle Illinois students, while tasked with applying their engineering-focused medical education to develop innovative solutions in healthcare, also focus on cultivating their patient care skills,” said Dr. Blair Rowitz, associate dean for clinical affairs. “These 32 students will jump into early clinical experiences starting in their second week and will develop into compassionate physicians able to leverage and improve technology with the patient at the heart of their endeavors.”

Carle Illinois’ unique, engineering-infused medical curriculum lends itself to challenging and competitive admissions requirements, such as high-level mathematics, computer science or other quantitative courses. As part of their admissions process, students must also demonstrate how they exemplify the college’s core values: creativity, curiosity, compassion, and competency.

“I am really excited about Carle Illinois,” said new student Anton Christensen, also an Illinois alumnus. “I’m excited about the curriculum and getting into clinic early on.”

The class of 2023 is the college’s second class since receiving its preliminary accreditation in 2017. The class of 2023 began classes on July 1, 2019.