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ACOM welcomes students to campus

First year students are completed up orientation on Wednesday.
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 7:09 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - After over a year of virtual learning the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine is welcoming students back on campus. First year students completed orientation on Wednesday, which was held virtually last year due to COVID-19. The campus flooded with energy of excitement from students, faculty and staff.

After being forced to flip the switch in March of 2020 to virtual learning, the college is ready to get back to normal operation which is teaching students in person.

“This has been such a joy to get back and feel the energy of the students and faculty all excited about you know training students,” Dr. Philip Reynolds, Associate Dean of Student Services, said.

After virtually meeting them through the interview process, the ACOM campus welcomes 210 first year students for orientation.

“All of these students have been in a virtual world for a year,” Dr. Reynolds said. “Even though that may not have been in medical school, they still been sitting at home in a pandemic and that kind of wears on you after a while.”

These medical students were selected out of nearly six-thousand applicants and about half are from the southeastern region, while the other half is from 30 different states.

“We’re really a diverse group,” Rebecca Donham, first year student, said. “We come from a little bit of all over and I think we bring a little bit something different. We all come from such unique backgrounds and we are all here as just ACOM students and we’re here you know as new members of the community in Dothan and we’re really grateful for that and continue that energy and keep on learning.”

This week students are making that transition from college to medical school and have been learning about the history of the college, the Dothan area and taking part in community outreach. On their last day of orientation the students packed bags for SARCOA and The Exchange Center for Child Abuse Prevention.

“We want to hit the ground running really well so we can provide the best we can for the community and start off on a good foot,” Donham said.

In the midst of all of the excitement, the college is keeping their purpose at the forefront.

“We’re going to train them up to be compassionate physicians,” Dr. Reynolds said.

Guidelines are in place on the ACOM campus including mask wearing, social distancing and checking temperatures upon entering the building.

ACOM students’ orientation ended on Wednesday, they will begin curriculum on Thursday.

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