After two hurricanes and two evacuations, Tulane University medical students prepared Sunday for their first week of classes at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston -- hoping for a slight return to normalcy with a return to the classroom, albeit in a different location.
"If nothing else, we've learned to roll with the punches," said third-year Tulane student Justin Lafreniere, one of hundreds of students displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
He and the rest of Tulane's student body were unsure of what would happen to their medical education until Baylor offered to temporarily house the New Orleans school. Beginning today, the displaced students will attend classes and training together under the instruction of 25 relocated Tulane faculty members -- preserving the small-group atmosphere meant to foster trust and camaraderie among medical students.
About 300 first- and second-year Tulane students will join Baylor's student population of 1,170. Numerous third- and fourth-year students will also attend classes and continue training at Baylor, the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, UT Medical Branch at Galveston or Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.
Overall, about 5,000 Louisiana college students have been taken in by Texas schools statewide.