The eighth class arrived at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Virginia, on July 24.

“Every year, I am impressed by the quality of our incoming class and this year is no exception,” said Cynda Johnson, dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “Each student is competitive for medical school on paper based on their academic achievements, but they also have diverse backgrounds, which is something we strive for to enrich their learning experience.”

For the first time in the school’s brief history, female students outnumber their male counterparts. Out of the 42 students, 22 are women.

More than one-third of class members come from Virginia. Five students received their undergraduate degrees from Virginia Tech and another five earned theirs at the University of Virginia. Other schools with more than one student in the are Georgetown University, Haverford College, University of California San Diego, and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

The most popular undergraduate majors in the class were biology, neuroscience, and biochemistry. Almost 20 percent of the class has a graduate degree.

The school received 4,403 applications for 42 slots in the class.

This week, members of the new class are undergoing an intensive orientation where they are being introduced to everything from the school’s curriculum, learning environment, and academic standards to policies and procedures, financial aid, and student counseling.

Next week, they start their regular class schedule, which is anything but ordinary. Students at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine participate in a unique problem-based learning curriculum, which centers on teaching in small groups based on real patient cases.

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine opened its doors to its first class in August 2010 and has since graduated four classes, each with a 100 percent residency match rate.

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