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HUNTINGTON — The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine welcomed its newest class of medical students earlier this week with a drive-thru welcome event.

The 80 incoming medical students received supplies needed to kick off their medical school journey, including stethoscopes donated by Drs. Joseph B. and Omayma T. Touma and family, and medical instruments provided by 90 School of Medicine alumni, family and friends.

The Class of 2024 includes students from a variety of backgrounds, including a former Marshall University basketball player, two married couples and two sets of siblings. The class includes alumni from Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, Ohio State University, University of Kentucky, West Virginia University and others, as well as 11 legacy students, meaning one or both parents are Marshall School of Medicine alumni.

Other statistics about the class:

  • 86% are from West Virginia.
  • 55% are males; 45% are females.
  • 11% entered from Marshall’s accelerated B.S./M.D. program.
  • 89% were science majors.
  • 16% are first-generation college graduates.
  • The average age is 23.

Virtual orientation conducted via Zoom and Microsoft Teams will continue through the end of this week. Then, students will participate in a virtual academic launch pad designed to prepare them academically and personally for the rigors of medical school.

The School of Medicine has been adapting its curriculum into a modified format based on the guidance of the American Association of Medical Colleges since April.

“The upcoming semester will bring unique challenges as we work to ensure students are able to meet necessary benchmarks in what can only be hands-on medical education,” said Bobby L. Miller, M.D., vice dean of medical education, in a news release. “Thankfully, for the Class of 2024, the first-year medical school curriculum consists largely of foundational knowledge that allows students to begin to understand the underpinning of clinical care.”

Due to COVID-19, the school postponed the traditional white coat cloaking ceremony until 2021.

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