Medical students at the University of Washington are taking home the coveted coveted gold medal at the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) medical science awards ceremony in Seattle.
They’re the first in their graduating class to win this coveted gold.
“We’ve had so many amazing students who have come to us and said, ‘We can’t get through this school without me,'” said James O’Connell, the AAAS chair of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“So it’s really nice to have that medal to show the world that we’re committed to the next generation.”
“They are so focused on their work,” said O’Connor, a physician-in-residence in the UW’s School of Medicine.
“They want to be a part of it and they want to contribute to the future of medicine.”
“We’re really proud to have them here,” said Dr. Daniel C. Tatum, chair of the faculty of medicine at the UW.
“It means a lot to us.”
Medical students from across the U.S. and abroad are entering the 2018 awards ceremony with hopes of getting their first gold medal, a silver medal and the top honor.
For the 2018 ceremony, UW Medicine has accepted only one student in each of the top 10 categories, but they will compete against their peers in a series of other categories, including the best students from outside the U, in a field that includes biotechnology, molecular biology, molecular medicine, and cell biology.
“The whole thing is so exciting,” said medical student Amanda Jankowski, who graduated in 2018 with a degree in bioengineering and computer science.
“This year it’s going to be more of a race against time to get our gold.
But it’s so important to get recognition for what we’re doing and it’s just something that we’ve always dreamed of.”
This year’s ceremony will also be held on Oct. 15, the same day as the Lunar New Year holiday, when many students will be returning home to celebrate with their families.
The awards ceremony is sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Medical Technologists (AICMT), which awards the gold medal in medicine, the silver medal in chemistry, and the bronze medal in science and engineering.
It is the first time that the awards ceremony has hosted multiple students competing in the same category, as they were not part of the same AAAS committee for the 2018 event.
In addition to the top-10 honors, students from the program have been recognized in the best student award, a new student honor, and a new physician-only honor.
The awards ceremony will feature a panel discussion that will include Dr. Thomas W. Schmitt, a professor of pathology at UW Medicine; Dr. Andrew S. Hagen, director of UW’s Department of Cell Biology; and Dr. J. Scott Campbell, professor of pediatrics at UW.
The awards ceremonies are scheduled for Oct. 16, 17, 18, and 19, and are open to the public, so students are encouraged to come and celebrate with friends, family and colleagues.
For more information about the 2018 medical science students, visit https://awards.wsu.edu.