Students from the WWAMI Idaho program, wearing their brand-new stethoscopes.
In touching ceremonies across the WWAMI region, the 240 students in this year’s entering class received their first stethoscopes, a gift from the UW School of Medicine Alumni Association. Alumni volunteers from 20 classes ranging from 1954 to 2013 were on hand at each site to make the presentation.
In Seattle, Estell Williams, M.D. ’13, spoke about her journey to medical school, the strength of the alumni community and the important role physicians play in their communities. “The stethoscope is a symbol to everyone of who you are and what you do. Being a physician is a privilege and should be a source of joy and profound satisfaction,” said Williams. “If you lose sight of that, it becomes merely a job. If you don’t lose sight, it’s a calling. Welcome to your calling.”
For one student, receiving a stethoscope was a family affair. Scott Kirkpatrick received his stethoscope from his father, Richard Kirkpatrick, M.D., ’72; his uncle John Kirkpatrick, M.D. ’73, also participated in the ceremony. “Having my dad present me with a stethoscope is a moment I will remember forever,” said Scott.
The younger Kirkpatrick is enjoying school and is impressed by his classmates. “Students are constantly going above and beyond to help others succeed. This has allowed me to learn more than I could have imagined in such a short time,” says Kirkpatrick. He’s also making sure to follow the advice — “study hard, have fun, and go to Husky football games” — given him by his dad and uncle.