From Robert W. Mercer, PhD
Course Master, Physiology
Welcome to Washington University School of Medicine. During your years here you will be expected to master a tremendous wealth of knowledge, all with the hope that you will become a competent and compassionate physician scientist. In the next few weeks you will be getting acquainted with your fellow classmates, the infrastructure of the medical complex, the medical school course load, and life in St. Louis. If at any time you need help navigating this transition, I invite you to seek out the faculty for assistance. The reputation of WUSM as having a collegial, inclusive environment is hard earned and well deserved. You will find that the faculty is always accessible to the students. This open attitude allows students the opportunity to interact directly with experts in the fields of science and medicine. No other medical school can surpass this feature of Washington University. While you are here, I also urge you to take advantage of the many medical school activities and organizations. Participate in the student–run activities, the summer research program, and the wonderful summer Departmental Softball League. Above all, please make an attempt to attend your classes! Only by attending classes are you able to directly ask questions and clarify points that you and your classmates may have missed. The first two years of your medical school training have pass/fail grading. Therefore, learn for the sake of learning, not for a nonexistent letter grade. Help and learn from your classmates. Your fellow students will become your best and closest friends. Enjoy your first year, because believe it or not, it will go by very quickly. Above all, work hard, play hard, and don’t sweat the small stuff.