SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Fifty students in Arizona took the first steps of a four-year journey to becoming medical doctors.

The Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, also called Mayo Med School, began instruction last week at its metro Phoenix campus in Scottsdale. Its inaugural class includes 10 students who from Arizona or with ties to the state.

Mayo Med School Interim Dean Dr. Michele Halyard told the school's inaugural class her stress-reliever as a student doctor came in the form of exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.

Halyard said those habits will help the students cope with the grind and workload of medical school. Halyard described the students' coming weeks and months as "like drinking from a fire hose," and a "quantum leap up from undergrad," The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/2eQMwrw ) reported Wednesday.

The first years of medical school are dominated by science-related coursework that covers topics such as anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, immunology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology and therapeutics.

Students also complete a basic doctoring class that teaches them how to take a patient's history and conduct a physical exam. Students will simultaneously complete an Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic certificate program in the science of healthcare delivery.

A decade ago, there were no medical schools in Phoenix, the nation's fifth-largest city. Mayo Med School joins four other schools that have changed that.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix was the first to open in the area in 2007.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine now has independently accredited medical schools in Phoenix and Tucson. The Phoenix medical school graduates about 80 doctors each year.

Creighton University also opened a medical school site in Phoenix, training third- and fourth-year students at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. Midwestern University in Glendale and A.T. Still University in Mesa run osteopathic medical schools.

The Mayo Clinic School of Medicine is an accredited medical school. It also has campuses in Minnesota and Florida.