For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Medical Doctor Class of 2026 begins studies at UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue my education at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences,” beamed first-year medical student and Mandan, N.D., native Madelyn Jablonski. “I chose UND for its small class sizes, state of the art medical school, and compassion for creating healthcare providers for subsequent work in the state. I am most excited to get to know my peers, professors, and use the Simulation Center.”

Jablonski is one of 78 first-year medical students, members of the Doctor of Medicine Class of 2026, who began their journey to become physicians this week at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS).

The students’ first two weeks are dedicated to orientation, including an introduction to UND’s nationally recognized, four-year, patient-centered learning curriculum where biomedical and clinical sciences are taught in the context of an interdisciplinary educational setting. Special emphasis is placed on students’ new roles and expectations of them as health professionals.

“I’m very excited to start medical school at UND,” added Carson Herbert, who comes to the SMHS from Thompson, N.D. “While I am excited for content to begin, what most excites me is the opportunity I will have to work with students from across a variety of health professions. That is what really drew me to the SMHS – the potential to learn in a patient-centered environment where I have the opportunity to collaborate with a wide variety of students and learn from exceptional faculty who will take extra care to ensure that I am getting the most out of my medical education.”

The orientation segment of the curriculum concludes with a White Coat Ceremony, wherein students recite the Oath of Hippocrates and receive their first white coats, which have been donated by the North Dakota Medical Association.

In keeping with recent national trends, more than half of this year’s medical student class is female.

Ranging in age from 21 to 35 years, and the vast majority of whom are from North Dakota and Minnesota, this year’s cohort likewise comes to medical school with experience in an array of fields, including: art, biochemistry, biology, business, chemistry, computer science, engineering, forensic science, kinesiology, mathematics, medical laboratory science, microbiology, philosophy, physics, psychology, and public health.

Some of these first-year students already hold advanced degrees, including master’s degrees in public health, athletic training, and biomedical science.

“I thoroughly enjoyed welcoming the medical student Class of 2026 to UND and the School bright and early on July 5 in our building on the Northeast Campus in Grand Forks,” said Joshua Wynne, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., vice president for health affairs at UND and dean of the School of Medicine & Health Sciences. “I still get a thrill every summer when I greet the incoming class and am reminded of my own first day of medical school. Although it was more than a few years ago, I remember it quite clearly and how excited and proud I was—along with a strong dose of fear and apprehension. I was mindful of my own mixed emotions of long ago when I welcomed the new class and helped start them on their exciting and rewarding journey.”

Founded in 1905, the SMHS is North Dakota’s only medical college and the most comprehensive collection of health sciences programs in the state, graduating more than 300 physicians, physician assistants, physical and occupational therapists, medical lab scientists, athletic trainers, and public health professionals annually.

The UND MD Class of 2026 (listed alphabetically with hometowns added) is as follows:

  • Autumn Ahlbrecht, Carson, N.D.
  • Carissa Amundson, Moorhead, Minn.
  • Kajsa Anderson, Westby, Mont.
  • Matthew Anderson, Hackensack, Minn.
  • Noah Antes, Rochester, Minn.
  • Alexa Asplund, Ham Lake, Minn.
  • Jaelyn Baisch, Eagan, Minn.
  • Chloe Bakkum, Moorhead, Minn.
  • George Beddow, Billings, Mont.
  • Gaurav Behera, Rochester, Minn.
  • Michael Burd, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Mathew Bushey, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Nolan Christenson, Alexandria, Minn.
  • Claire Diede, Lakeville, Minn.
  • Elizabeth Driscoll, Lake Park, Minn.
  • Josephine Dwamena, Fargo, N.D.
  • Henry Elsenpeter, Blaine, Minn.
  • Bailey Engesether, Bagley, Minn.
  • Devin Evavold, East Grand Forks, Minn.
  • Zachary Even, Lidgerwood, N.D.
  • Annie Ferguson, Snohomish, Wash.
  • Nathan Fix, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Madeleine Flanders, Houston, Texas
  • Miriah Forness, West Fargo, N.D.
  • Delton Gabel, Fargo, N.D.
  • Cole Garrett, Mountain Home, Idaho
  • Jack Gibbons, Fargo, N.D.
  • Connor Griffin, Fargo, N.D.
  • Rachel Guyer, Rochester, Minn.
  • Wyatt Hahn, Hutchinson, Minn.
  • Carson Herbert, Thompson, N.D.
  • David Hettich, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Kathryn Hnatko, Duluth, Minn.
  • Phillip Hoffarth, Shakopee, Minn.
  • Mercedes Hoffner, Omaha, Neb.
  • Elizabeth Holzwarth, New Rockford, N.D.
  • Riley Huffman, West Fargo, N.D.
  • Madelyn Jablonski, Mandan, N.D.
  • Shahmeer Kanwar, Watford City, N.D.
  • Benjamin Kearney, Andover, Minn.
  • Ashley King, Devils Lake, N.D.
  • Peter Knutson, Foley, Minn.
  • Lincoln Kranz, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Mikale Kuntz, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Regan Lawrence, Fargo, N.D.
  • Megan Lorenz, Fargo, N.D.
  • Abby Lund de Costa, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Nicholas Mathias, Kindred, N.D.
  • Ashley Matter, Fargo, N.D.
  • Alexus Meduna, Dickinson, N.D.
  • Sydney Morris, Mahtomedi, Minn.
  • Kennedy Mueller, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Tyler Mueller, Fargo, N.D.
  • Jonah Muller, Bemidji, Minn.
  • Graysen Myers, Fargo, N.D.
  • Emilee Ohman, Corvallis, Ore.
  • Hunter Olstad, Valley City, N.D.
  • Cade O’Neill, Butte, Mont.
  • Jace Otremba, Lakeville, Minn.
  • Morgan Pierce, Mandan, N.D.
  • Kelly Reishus, Dent, Minn.
  • Kathleen Ruff, Ashley, N.D.
  • Gretchen Schreiner, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Ryan Schulte, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Greta Schwartz, Maple Grove, Minn.
  • Madison Seifert, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Rebecca Solloway, Fargo, N.D.
  • Jenna Steichen, Overland Park, Kan.
  • Blair Stewig, Buffalo, Minn.
  • Alyssa Thielges, LaMoure, N.D.
  • Katherine Tomczik, Saint Cloud, Minn.
  • Jacob Tupa, Larimore, N.D.
  • Nicole Virgin, Woodbury, Minn.
  • Paxten Wahlund, Minot, N.D.
  • Emma Weisner, St. Louis Park, Minn.
  • Medora Witwer, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Shirley Yang, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Natalie Zinn, Lake Elmo, Minn.