FRESNO, California (KSEE) – The Central Valley is a little bit closer to addressing its shortage of medical doctors. Students attending the area’s new medical school have completed their first year.
They did it despite the challenges of attending medical school during a pandemic.
“Putting a medical school in the Central Valley is a game-changer,” said College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean John Graneto. “It’s going to change access to health care for generations to come.”
The California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine had planned to show off its new building with a ribbon-cutting in April 2020. The pandemic hit in March – shutting down just about everything.
23-year-old Matthew Lansman, a Fresno State graduate, considers himself lucky to gain admissions to a medical school close to home. 4,000 students applied for only 75 available seats.
“It was a lot going on at the same time but the school handled it really well,” said Lansman. “We switched into doing online classes and our learning is all team-based. I’ve developed a lot of really good friends here and I consider them family now.”
The medical school, at Alluvial and Temperance avenues, welcomed its first group of students last July. Even though starting classes in the middle of a pandemic was tough, students were able to put what they were learning to immediate use.
“I think this was the perfect time to get involved because this has given us the opportunity to help give back to the community as first-year students, which is nearly unheard of by vaccinating,” said student Samantha Phillips. “I’ve gotten to meet so many people who are so, so grateful to get that vaccine.”
The medical school is equipped with the latest in technology: it’s inpatient hospital wing includes an emergency room, ICU, and operating rooms with high-tech simulation mannequins that can mimic real patients.
The school includes a manipulative medicine lab offering a hands-on approach to diagnosing and treating patients. There’s also a focus on nutrition education.
“I appreciated that aspect of health that what you eat and what you do day in and day out is what contributes to your overall health,” said student Natalie Pardo.
This medical school’s mission is to educate and train doctors who will stay in the Central Valley. That’s a mission many of these students feel passionate about.