LSU Medical, Nursing and Dental continue despite Katrina

Wow. Students, and their teachers, can be incredibly resilient:

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (AP) — The sun is barely up, but the movie theater parking lot holds dozens of cars.

There’s no early matinee. The cars belong to Hurricane Katrina refugees from New Orleans — nursing students waiting for class to start.

So in Theater 4, nursing management will be followed by “Serenity.” After the Research in Nursing class, “Elizabethtown” is showing in Theater 6. An anatomy exam in 7 precedes “The Gospel.” And in Theater 11, Mothers and Childbearing Families (aka obstetrics) is followed by the Wallace and Gromit movie “The Curse of the Were Rabbit.”

“It’s just like an auditorium-style classroom,” says Jenelle Johnson, 24. “They use PowerPoint. But we can smell popcorn on our way out.”

While New Orleans’ universities will not reopen until spring semester, LSU’s medical school cranked up again just a month after Katrina, setting up shop in the state capital. Tulane’s med school opened a week later, in Texas.

“We were amazed at their resilience,” says Joe Keyes, senior vice president of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The vast majority of medical students — LSU’s 2,800 and Tulane’s 2,600 — stayed with their schools. The dental school reports only one of its 316 students transferred.

That’s an exceptional statistic, and says a lot about their students. And, it’s good.