Class of 2023 MD students

First-Year MD Students Made ‘Right Choice’ in MSM

You have made the right choice!”

With those words of assurance, Morehouse School of Medicine President and Dean Valerie Mongomery Rice welcomed the institution’s newest collection of aspiring physicians as 100 first-year M.D. students began their journey at orientation June 27-28.

Dr. Montgomery Rice emphasized that the journey ahead would be challenging, but that MSM has their back, with people and resources in place to help them succeed. Jamil Joyner, 2022 MD class president, reinforced that message, assuring the newbies that he and his classmates stand ready to assist.

The Class of 2023 hails from all corners of the country, from Massachusetts to California, Washington to Florida, with 18 states represented; that is four more than last year. The majority, 55 students, come from Georgia, as the MSM mission starts at home. There are 56 women and 44 men. The vast majority, 66, majored in biology or biology-related areas such as behavioral biology. Three are engineers – chemical, biological and aerospace.

They come to MSM from 59 undergraduate institutions, an increase of nine over last year. Georgia and Georgia State lead the way with 13 students each, but there is a range of institutions: public and private, large and small, research and liberal arts. They include:

  • Georgia – Georgia Tech, Mercer, Emory, Columbus State, Valdosta State, Savannah State, Kennesaw State, Fort Valley State, Berry, Oglethorpe.
  • Florida – University of Florida, Florida State, University of Central Florida, University of North Florida, University of Miami.
  • California – University of California-Irvine, UC-San Diego, San Diego State and UCLA. We will also include the lone student who traveled all the way from the University of Hawaii.

There are seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities represented: Morehouse College, Spelman College, Tuskegee University, Savannah State University, Fort Valley State, Hampton University and Florida A&M University. Five students come from all-woman institutions: Spelman, Agnes Scott College, Smith College, Barnard College and Salem College.

Perhaps the most interesting undergraduate institution is the University of Isfahan, a state-operated university in the Isfahan province of Iran. It ranks among the top 10 comprehensive universities in that country offering undergraduate degrees in 70 fields and graduate degrees in 55 areas. MD-1 student Banafsheh Nazari finished her studies there in 2007 with a degree in cellular and molecular biology.

Classes start July 1, as MSM begins training the next generation of physician leaders who will advance health equity, serve in areas of greatest need, and diversify the health professions workforce.

  • class of 2023 MD students listen to a speaker
  • a closeup of a student smiling
  • Jamil Joyner addresses the class
  • Dr. Montgomery Rice
  • Welcome Letter from Atlanta Mayor


    Keisha Lance Bottoms MayorMayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

    June 27, 2019

    Greetings Class of 2023:

    I am honored to welcome each of you to the Morehouse School of Medicine.

    Since 1975, the Morehouse School of Medicine has been an integral part of Atlanta’s educational landscape – nurturing generations of aspiring physicians and young scholars through its legacy of leadership, scholarship and community. As a leader in healthcare education and a champion for equity and diversity, the School’s service to medicine has not only been essential to elevating the healthcare field but improving the lives of countless individuals in underrepresented communities.

    The City of Atlanta is proud to congratulate the Class of 2023, and we offer our best wishes for a successful semester. While in Atlanta, we encourage you to explore the world-class attractions our city has to offer such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change; the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola; the Atlanta BeltLine, Ponce City Market; the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Atlantic Station; the Woodruff Arts Center, Piedmont Park and more.

    On behalf of the people of Atlanta, I hope you enjoy our Southern hospitality and the rich, diverse culture of our historic city.


    Keisha Lance Bottoms signature
    Keisha Lance Bottoms