Dean Chung shows off her artistic handiwork.

Take advantage of the Wash U community. Your first year is Pass/Fail — a purposeful decision to foster collaboration and support. Form strong bonds with your classmates, for they will be your peers for four years and your friends and colleagues for a lifetime. Get to know the faculty, administration, and staff who are here to help you succeed. Find an advisor or mentor who takes an interest in you. Your mentor will help you navigate medical school and, if you’re lucky, you may even get a home-cooked meal. Explore life outside the classroom. Stay grounded by volunteering in the community and stay sane by getting involved in school clubs and continuing your hobbies. Get to know St. Louis. There is no shortage of entertainment and plenty of nightlife. Catch a baseball game at Busch Stadium. Stroll through our world famous zoo or the botanical garden. Ignite your creativity at the science center or the art museum. Sooth your soul with the melodies of our world class symphony, the historic rhythm of jazz and blues, or the varying beats of our many music venues. Pay attention to your academics. Take your basic science courses seriously. They will come in handy in later years, and your future patients will thank you. If you want to do research, just email me ( Don’t worry about your residency match yet; it will come in time. Focus on the immediate steps in front of you without losing sight of your purpose: to become a doctor. Most importantly, get enough sleep, exercise, and have fun!

Koong-Nah Chung, PhD
Associate Dean for Medical Student Research
Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
Director, Office of Medical Student Research