UND medical school donors continue tradition of gifting stethoscopes

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Kalli Fautsch is a UND medical student who was gifted a stethoscope by donors. (Submitted photo)

This week, dozens of first-year medical students received engraved stethoscopes thanks to the UND medical school’s Adopt-a-Med-Student Program, which is marking its 10th anniversary.

Donors provided 67 engraved stethoscopes to first-year medical students in the class of 2024.

“It’s awesome,” said first-year med student Ajdin Ekic, of West Fargo, N.D., first generation immigrant and son of Bosnian parents. “This is the sort of thing I hope to do for a young medical student some day.”

The program was started in 2011 and is a partnership between the medical school and the UND Alumni Association & Foundation.


Nash Binegar is a UND medical student who was gifted a stethoscope by donors. (Submitted photo)

In addition to providing an important, and often expensive, tool that will help them through their medical education, the program aims to give students access to a physician mentor early in their training. Donors connect with students via a letter provided with the stethoscope and share insights and experiences. The connection helps students have a better understanding of the history and direction of medicine.

“Especially under these circumstances, it’s wonderful to see what a great community we have here at the (UND) med school,” said Kalli Fautsch, a Rochester, Minn., native whose stethoscope was donated by Dr. Kyle Hoffert, of Fairbault, Minn. “I’ve been really impressed with the people here and want to thank my donor for this gift.”

Joshua Wynne, dean of the medical school, encourages students receiving the stethoscopes to respond to their donor as soon as possible. Ideally, the exchange can begin a lifelong relationship between the donor and the student, who by the time of the exchange, will be familiar with the Hippocratic Oath’s appeal that physicians act as teachers always and “gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.”

“It’s cool,” added Ellen Erie, a first-year student from Fargo, whose donors were Brent Hella and Michelle Radke. “We haven’t yet received our white coats (due to the pandemic), so this is the first thing that makes med school feel more real.”

More than 700 stethoscopes have been donated to UND med students by more than 400 individual donors over the past 10 years.

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at or call her at 701-780-1134.
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