March Dean's Message

Dear students, colleagues and friends,

As I walked across campus last week, I noticed small buds forming on trees and tiny crocuses slowly emerging from their winter slumber. The weekend sunshine and warmer temperatures reinforced the welcome arrival of spring as we mark the end of a long winter and the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic upending our lives. It is also nearly a year since the killing of George Floyd. Our country remains divided as we continue to experience racial violence in our streets, most recently against Asian Americans. As physicians and healers, students and teachers, we must lead the practice of tolerance, respect and inclusiveness.

To say the year was challenging is an understatement. At CMU and the College of Medicine, the pandemic forced us to quickly pivot to a virtual environment. As health care providers worldwide grappled with a deadly and highly contagious virus, our clinical affiliates met the challenge and remained committed to the education of future physicians. We are immensely grateful to all the frontline workers who cared for our communities and continued to educate our students. We are also proud of our students who volunteered with different organizations testing for COVID-19 and, most recently, administering highly anticipated vaccines.

The mission of the College of Medicine is to educate diverse students and train culturally competent physicians to provide comprehensive care to underserved populations (both rural and urban) in Michigan and beyond. We see our mission fulfilled each March with Match Day, the day when medical students across the nation learn where they will conduct their residencies.

Friday, March 19, was Match Day, with 90 CMU College of Medicine students participating in the process.

  • 61% of our students matched to primary care residencies.
  • 47% of our students matched within the state of Michigan.
  • Five students matched with the CMU Medical Education Partners residency programs in Saginaw.
  • Three students matched to our branch campus at Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit.

Our medical students take with them lessons learned on the front lines of a global pandemic―experiences that will shape their residencies and the remainder of their careers. As they voluntarily staffed testing and vaccination clinics, the students confirmed their capacity for compassionate care, and they witnessed how public health infrastructure and science-based community health measures have direct implications for patients’ lives. Their successful navigation of this national health crisis is a testament to our mission and their commitment to advancing health care for all people.

As we move forward toward commencement, I am pleased to announce CMU is planning an in-person, outdoor ceremony for May 7, 2021. Though audience capacity will be limited, a livestream of the ceremony will be available for those unable to be physically present.

I am incredibly proud of our students, faculty and staff whose determination and resilience brought the College of Medicine through a turbulent year. Thank you for your patience, your dedication and your steadfast support of one another.


George E. Kikano, M
CMU Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, CMU College of Medicine