Wyo4News Staff, [email protected]
LARAMIE, WYOMING (August 27, 2020) — The University of Wyoming’s WWAMI Medical Education Program welcomed its 23rd class of new medical students Monday, August 17, and Holly Huber, former resident of Green River, was a part of the class. Huber, along with the other 19 medical students, is among one of the first cohorts of students coming to the Laramie campus as part of UW’s phased reopening during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
During the group’s first week in the Wyoming WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) program, located in the College of Health Sciences, the E-20 (2020 entering class) students participated in the medical school’s orientation/immersion schedule of events. The medical students are all from Wyoming.
Students received a welcome from faculty and staff, followed by an overview of the foundation’s phase of their education, presented by WWAMI Director Tim Robinson.
The orientation/immersion program included an introduction to the foundations of clinical medicine, presented by faculty members.
The students also were given a tour of Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie.
Students were presented with their white coats and stethoscopes by their respective college mentors at the medical school’s stethoscope ceremony during the orientation/immersion week. They were then able to meet with their mentors in their respective mentor groups. Receiving their first stethoscopes, along with white coats, signifies the beginning of their journey toward becoming physicians.
Dr. Yvette Haeberle says that she looks forward every year to welcoming a new class of first-year students and getting to know them on an individual basis.
“Having the small cohort of only 20 students here in Wyoming allows for faculty, staff, and students to really get to know one another and form long-standing relationships,” she says.
Mentors will work with five students each, and will be available for students to discuss goals and challenges they may face in the classroom or with their clinical experiences.
The students also were divided into two groups, with each group entering for the first time into the WWAMI anatomy lab, located in the UW Physical Sciences Building. For some students, the anatomy lab can be a challenging experience the first time.
Dr. Alison Doherty, clinical assistant professor and anatomy lab director, along with Dr. Mike Meyer, lecturer, and Lydia Jorden, lab manager, talked with students during their first visit about back and spinal cord dissection.
While UW has structured a phased return plan for students, Wyoming WWAMI staff also made certain all safety measures were in place prior to the E-20 group’s arrival.
McCue adds that there was uncertainty about what the learning environment would be like due to mitigation policies.
“Our faculty and administration have done twice the work to be sure that we are prepared to learn in-person and online, if needed later in the semester,” McCue says. “The first week of WWAMI orientation/immersion could not have gone better. Our lectures, activities, and schedules felt seamless. I’m confident that one day, when we are on the right side of this, we’ll look back with nothing but gratitude for the folks who made it possible for us to learn in person during this pandemic and be a part of the solution moving forward.”
The WWAMI students will begin the wilderness medicine portion of their immersion curriculum Thursday, August 27, where they will obtain their Wilderness First Responder certificates. The students will resume classroom instruction Monday, September 7.
E-20 students (listed by their hometowns) are:
Byron — Austin Ellis
Casper — Bret Andrew, Joseph Keating, and Dane Patey
Cheyenne — Jackson McCue, Rikki Nelson, and Bryce Snow
Cody — Grace Nicholas and Taylor Thompson
Gillette — Ariel Rap
Green River — Holly Huber
Laramie — Luiza Bosch, Madeleine Isler, and Sierra Levene
Moran — Cade Budak
Powell — Blake Hopkin
Sheridan — Drew Adriaens and Maison Furley
Thermopolis — Cody Abbott
Wheatland — Audrey Lucas