MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — Central Michigan University welcomed its first group of doctors-in-training for a ceremony Sunday to mark the start of their professional education and the opening of the school’s new medical school.
The class of 64 medical students participated in a “white coat ceremony” as members start a 4-year -program. The students will spend their first 2 years on the school’s Mount Pleasant campus. After that, they continue at sites in Saginaw.
The Saginaw facilities will include a Central Michigan University campus and sites linked to Covenant HealthCare and St. Mary’s of Michigan.
Central Michigan says 37 of the students are women, 57 are Michigan natives and 11 students are Central Michigan graduates, according to MLive.com. They were selected from about 2,700 applicants.
“As the only medical school in Michigan training doctors to address the needs of residents and families living in more rural regions, we selected students with a passion for medically underserved communities,” medical school Dean Ernie Yoder said in a statement.
Planning for the medical school began in 2008 in the face of forecasts of a shortage of U.S.-trained doctors. At the time, the University of Michigan and Michigan State and Wayne State universities operated Michigan’s only medical schools. Western Michigan and Oakland universities also have launched medical schools.
Central Michigan University trustee Sarah Opperman said that the school set out to admit 80 percent of its students from Michigan. The actual percentage was 89 percent.
“We met our goal, plus some,” she said.
Next year, the medical school will admit 104 students, the Morning Sun reported. Each year, the college will add students to reach a full capacity of 400 students.