McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Medical school begins first Niagara class, expands Waterloo class

Published: October 24, 2008
Medical Class 2008 for Niagara and Waterloo

The Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine is growing, as the first class for its Niagara campus has begun and more students have been added to the Waterloo campus.

The annual White Coat ceremony for first-year medical students was held by the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at the Hamilton Convention Centre this month. During the ceremony, students are presented with their first white clerk’s jackets, a symbol of their entry into the medical profession.

The 15 students registered at the Niagara campus are part of the medical school’s largest first year class of 183. After having spent the first few months at the Hamilton campus, in December they begin their training at the Niagara Regional Campus located at St. Catharine’s General and Greater Niagara General sites of the Niagara Health System, with all the hospitals and many community physician offices throughout Niagara Region participating in the later phases of training.

"This is a very positive development for Niagara," said Dr. Karl Stobbe, regional assistant dean of the new campus. "Many doctors have offered their time to teach; the hospitals are opening their doors to our students, and we’ve had a warm welcome from the business community and the mayors."

One of the Niagara students is St. Catharine’s native Andrew Dick, a graduate of the University of Guelph with honours in biomedical sciences. 

Andrew’s grandfather was a medical missionary working as a physician in Ecuador for 16 years before moving back to Canada and practicing in the Niagara area.  His mother’s nursing career included work at the St. Catharine’s General hospital, a VON, and a teacher of nursing students.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity to follow in their footsteps. I am so thrilled to finally be in medical school and am excited to be studying here in my hometown.

"I feel like an ambassador for the Niagara campus.  I really hope that all the other students enjoy it and appreciate the unique opportunity that we have here as students."

At the Waterloo campus, the class has expanded by more than one-third.

Initially set to annually accept 15 first-year students, it has been increased to 21 first-year students. That means the school will grow to 63 rather than 45 undergraduate students in its three-year program.

"This is a vote of confidence in the high calibre of the members of the medical community in the Waterloo-Wellington regions who are taking on the training of medical students," said John Kelton, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and dean of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.
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