July 5, 2024

Warrior M.D. Class of 2028 arrives: School of Medicine welcomes 318 new medical students

Jennifer Nnadozie, left, poses for her first official photo as a medical student, part of orientation for the Class of 2028.

The inspiration for Jennifer Nnadozie’s childhood nickname is nearing her reality. Just give her four more years.

“As a little kid, everyone called me Dr. Jen. That’s all I ever talked about,” Nnadozie said.

The resident of Georgia was born in Nigeria and received her undergraduate degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She has spent the last three years working as a medical assistant in Neurology and in an emergency department in Baltimore, all in pursuit of attending medical school and fulfilling her childhood dream. Last Monday, she found herself in Detroit, entering the doors of the Wayne State University School of Medicine. 

James Moss shows off the "MD Loading" bracelet he made during a meet-and-greet activity with his Warrior House on the first day of orientation.

“I liked how diverse Wayne was, and all the opportunities that they offer their students,” she said.

Nnadozie is one of 318 new medical students who took the first step in the journey to becoming doctors during the WSU School of Medicine’s orientation for the Class of 2028, held July 1-3 in Scott Hall and the Mazurek Medical Education Commons. The three-day orientation kicked off with a welcome breakfast hosted in the Scott Hall Cafeteria. 

“It doesn’t get any better than this, celebrating all of you in joining a wonderful medical school,” said Dean Wael Sakr, M.D., addressing the new physicians-in-training.

Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development Margit Chadwell, M.D., ’94 echoed his sentiment.

“You’ve landed in a really special place,” she said.

The new students picked up their official Class of 2028 shirts, provided courtesy of the Medical Alumni Association, tried on the short white coats that they will wear for the next four years as medical students, participated in sessions of hands-on Basic Life Support training taught by local physicians and nurses and extensive first-aid training taught by the First Aid First Student Organization, participated in a Warrior House meet-and-greet activity and learned about the history of Detroit.

Dean Wael Sakr, M.D., welcomes the Class of 2028 at a welcome breakfast on July 1.

The School of Medicine’s role as a caregiver of the Detroit community pushed new student Alice Werynski to apply to the School of Medicine. Raised in Chicago, she spent her undergraduate years at Saint Louis University in Missouri, where she worked and cared for the underserved in urban communities. One significant pillar of WSU’s Prosperity Agenda – empowering health for our urban neighborhoods – aligns with hers, and she’s excited to continue what she started in St. Louis.

“That was a big factor in why I chose Wayne,” she said.

First-year students practice basic life support skills on the second day of orientation.

Werynski and her classmates spent the rest of the week meeting with their color-coded houses (previously known as learning communities) and small-group Gross Anatomy teams, and attending lectures and meetings about physical and mental wellness, lifestyle medicine, professionalism, financial wellness and more.

Classes begin July 8. The Class of 2028 White Coat Ceremony, where the students will be cloaked in their white coat by a School of Medicine faculty member or a mentor, will be held July 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center in Detroit. Acceptance of a white coat represents the commitment that each physician-in-training makes to practice compassionate, patient-centric medical care. It also serves as a reminder of the ideals that set all Warrior M.D.s apart: that the privilege of medical education comes with the responsibility of service to the community.

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