Classes for the first year of the new Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine started today as administrators and faculty welcomed the incoming class of 50 students.
Fifty out of 3,273 applicants were admitted to the four-year program. Of these 50 students, 35 are from Michigan, 20 are from Oakland County and four are Oakland University alumni. They started their first class “Professionalism in Medicine” this morning.
“For current OU students, I think it sets a wonderful example of academic excellence,” Mary Beth Synder, vice president for student affairs, said. “Students in the medical school will be role models for students who want to aspire to any kind of biology or pre-medical kind of curriculum … the students who aspire to that kind of career will have students to go to to talk to about it … it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more from people that have gone through it what it takes to become successful.”
A medical school formed through a partnership between Oakland University and Beaumont Health Systems, students are able to take classes at the university as well as clinical trainings at Beaumont hospitals.
David McNaughton, a 2010 Oakland University graduate, decided to apply to the med school after attending an applicant visit earlier last year. For him, home is right around the corner. A previous winner of the commuter involvement award when he was an undergraduate student and a peer transition assistance mentor for OU students with Asperger syndrome, McNaughton will commute to school from his home in Clarkston.
“I had some concerns about it becoming a first year school, but it seems that they’re doing things really well and they have everything under control,” he said. “I think being a small school, the class size is going to be a camaraderie … everyone’s going to know each other really well. Just through the application process, I feel like everyone already knows me really well … you won’t be able to have the interaction we have at this school at a bigger university.”
According Robert Folberg, founding dean of the school, the medical school is the first one to open in Michigan in 47 years. He said after the initial start up with 50 students, they will add an additional 25 students a year until they plateau at 125.
“I would like to pay a tribute to Oakland University faculty and staff for supporting the establishment of the medical school at Oakland through the collaboration of employment,” Provost Virinder Moudgil said. “This is important because this schools success depends on a support system from both institutions. I cannot be more grateful to the university senate and my faculty colleagues for their support and their belief that this is important to our region.”
Tuition for the 2011-12 school year will cost $42,760.
For more information on the school of medicine, visit www.oakland.edu/medicine