The Class of 2026 includes five students who are considered underrepresented in medicine, which the American Association of Medical Colleges defines as those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population. In addition, eight students come from a socioeconomically disadvantaged background, and one is a first-generation college student.
“We continue to be inspired by the number of applicants who can contribute to the school’s mission,” said Melanie Prusakowski, associate dean of admissions at VTCSOM. “I feel confident that the learning environment will be further strengthened by this interesting combination of unique individuals who all spoke or wrote about their passion for serving others.”
Students in the class represent 16 states, with one each from Washington, D.C., and Quebec. Ten are from Virginia, and two are staying in their hometown of Roanoke. The students come from 37 undergraduate institutions with three having attended Virginia Tech.
VTCSOM has a rigorous curriculum in which all students are required to complete an original, hypothesis-driven research project and a longitudinal curriculum in health systems science and interprofessional practice. These requirements ensure that students develop the knowledge and skills to become scientist physicians and systems citizens who can lead improvements in health and health care. The Class of 2026 is well-prepared for these aspects of VTCSOM, having each conducted an average of 2,957 research hours along with 2,903 clinical hours.