NYMC Welcomes Newest Cohort of Medical Students
It was not the traditional start to medical school, but the New York Medical College community welcomed the School of Medicine (SOM) Class of 2024 with virtual arms and physical distancing for “Transition to Medical School” during the week of July 27.
The SOM Office of Student Affairs spared no effort to prepare the SOM Class of 2024 for their journey to becoming skilled compassionate physicians—organizing online activities, live and pre-recorded Zoom presentations, and in-person physically distanced meetings with house advisory deans under the tent on campus. Sessions on physical and mental health and wellness, professionalism, financial aid, career planning, diversity and inclusion, research opportunities and interprofessionalism, as well as student-led sessions aimed at providing an insider’s glimpse of medical student life, provided the tools for the SOM Class of 2024 to succeed during the next four years of their medical education.
The Office of Student and Residential Life helped make the SOM Class of 2024 arrival on campus smooth and safe by providing an outdoor check-in and a contact-free move-in experience. The check-in process was spread out over three days with designated times and buildings to be able to maintain physical distancing. “We were able to prepare clearly marked envelopes with the required paperwork and keys for the new students to be picked up at a safe distance,” said Madeline Makings, M.S., administrative coordinator in the Office of Student and Residential Life. Future move-in dates are also being scheduled to accommodate any students who traveled from restricted states and are required to quarantine for two weeks.
“We were able to transition all of the usual in-person orientation sessions to an online format that has been well received by the students,” said Jane M. Ponterio, M.D. '81, senior associate dean for student affairs of the SOM. “We also had some physically-distant events under the tent-like meeting the house deans and white coat fittings.”
Also, new this year to orientation were virtual wellness events each day with a different theme, according to Dr. Ponterio. On physical wellness day, students took a virtual tour of the Zion National Park; on emotional wellness and resiliency day, a short film from the SXSW Festival, Just Hold On, was screened; on nutritional wellness day, students got a healthy cooking lesson via video; on cultural wellness day, students enjoyed watching and listening to a virtual choir of 17,572 members from 129 countries perform Sing Gently, composed and conducted by Eric Whitacre; and on spiritual wellness day, a Buddhist monk from the Kadampa Meditation Center in New York City led a meditation for students.
The Student Orientation Committee of second-year medical students produced a welcome and campus tour video and hosted several ice breaker activities including virtual games, informal chats and "A day in the life of an M1, M2, M3 and M4" presentation.
“After much anticipation and preparation, it was good to welcome the Class of 2024 to campus and we wish them all the best,” said Jonathan Pessolano, director of the Office of Medical Student Affairs who organized the orientation activities.
“I am impressed with how well our new students are adapting to this new norm. They are really showing active participation and involvement which can sometimes be a challenge in virtual activities,” said Anthony M. Sozzo, M.S.Ed., M.A., associate dean for student affairs and director of student financial planning and student activities. “We also appreciate all the support from the second-year medical students who are participating during orientation and offering their support.”
Here’s a glance at the SOM Class of 2024:
- 212 students matriculated
- 12,143 applications received
- 989 applicants interviewed
- 54% of the class is female
- Students hail from 21 states
- 6 international students
- 53% of the class is from New York
- 96 undergraduate schools are represented
- The average class age is 24