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Kalamazoo — A celebration is planned Thursday in honor of the opening of Western Michigan University’s new medical school.

The gala celebrating the Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine is to include performances by the university’s Bronco Marching Band and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra as well as a keynote address by Dr. A. Lorris Betz, chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ board of directors.

The Stryker Medical School recently welcomed its inaugural class of 54 students. The Kalamazoo school is named for Stryker Corp. founder Homer Stryker.

Its first white-coat ceremony for students and invited guests is scheduled for Wednesday.

The number of medical schools in Michigan doubled from three to six in recent years, largely in response to a shortage of doctors in many areas.

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