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The University of South Alabama College of Medicine welcomed 74 new students at the class of 2022’s freshman orientation.
During orientation, the first-year medical students were introduced to the College of Medicine with icebreaker activities, policy briefings, campus tours and information sessions. The USA College of Medicine Wellness Program – a wellness initiative promoting mentorship and enhancing health and well-being among medical students – also played an integral role at the event.
“I look forward to thriving in an environment that encourages the growth of several key qualities of a good physician: good communication, confidence, compassion, professionalism and knowledge,” said first-year medical student Hadil El-Sharkh.
Despite being nervous for her new journey, El-Sharkh said, “I believe there is a healthy amount of nervousness that stimulates better performance and pushes toward successful completion of goals.”
El-Sharkh received her electrical engineering undergraduate degree from USA. She said she chose USA because of the small class size and preparation she will receive before starting her next journey as a physician. “USA College of Medicine gives every student the opportunity to grow as a physician in every aspect with an up-to-date facility and faculty members who are dedicated to the success of their students,” she said.
When the wellness initiative began last year, Hannah Brooks, a second-year medical student and student orientation committee member, said last year’s committee was not sure what role wellness should play during orientation.
Brooks was one of the committee members who encouraged the wellness initiative be a prominent part of orientation this year. With one year under the committee’s belt, they were able to take charge and decide how to present wellness to the incoming students. “I personally think that the wellness initiative is one of the best parts of our medical school community,” she said. “We want the new students to know that not only does our school care about our academic success, but they also care about our personal well-being.”
To help facilitate more community among the wellness houses, the committee created the Wellness House Kickball Tournament. The houses – named after the five rivers that feed into Mobile Bay – are comprised of first-, second-, third- and fourth-year medical students. Incoming students received their wellness house assignment during a mimic Match Day on the first day of orientation. The students will remain in their wellness house groups for the remainder of medical school.
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