VCOM welcomes inaugural class to Louisiana campus

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 10:12 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine has launched a new campus here in northeast Louisiana.

VCOM has three other campuses in the United States including Auburn, the Carolinas, and Virginia. The Monroe campus is partnered with and shares property with ULM.

The medical school has been in the works for the last few years, and faculty members said they’re excited despite the pandemic affecting the class structure.

“COVID-19 has made a new reality for medical school education in the United States,” said Dr. Ray Morrison, VCOM’s dean.

There are 156 students in the inaugural class. The first two weeks will be fully online, but Morrison said he hopes they can start in-person labs and lectures by the end of the month.

First-year student Natalie Regian said medical school can already be intimidating, but the pandemic and online classes have added extra pressure.

She said despite the unprecedented circumstances, she and many others are looking forward to starting their medical school journey so they can one day graduate and help others.

“Hopefully these unprecedented times can serve as an even greater motivating factor for anybody else that’s considering the medical field in any regard,” Regian said.

In an effort to limit the COVID-19 spread, social distancing measures will be implemented in labs.

Morrison said they will have lab groups stay constant and will be assigned for the block rather than rotating as a part of their health and safety measures.

As a part of VCOM’s curriculum, students will work with simulations, cadavers, and standardized patients.

A Standardized Patient (SP) is someone who is trained to portray a scripted medical scenario in a simulated clinical setting.

If you’re interested in applying to be a part-time standardized patient, click here.

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