Media Relations

Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Freed
561-297-3022, lfreed@fau.edu

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine at FAU to Hold Orientation for First Class of Four-Year Medical Students

New medical school will help decrease projected physician shortage in Palm Beach County

            BOCA RATON, FL (August 7, 2007) – The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UMMSM) at Florida Atlantic University will welcome its inaugural class of four-year medical students on Thursday, August 9, at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, Room 126, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.  

            Orientation activities will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a welcome address from UMMSM at FAU faculty, followed by an introduction of the 32 students in the charter class, an overview of the new medical school curriculum and academic policies.

“It’s exciting to be part of a transforming event in healthcare, research and education in one of the most dynamic places in the country,” said Michael L. Friedland, M.D., regional dean of the UMMSM at FAU. “I believe we now have the opportunity to become the preeminent academic health center in the southeast.”

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), a growing lack of new doctors may be the next big American health crisis.   In Florida, with the highest percentage of residents over the age of 65 in the nation, a projected doctor shortage may be even more acute.  

Recognizing the long pipeline to build schools and the number of years required to educate and train doctors, the AAMC has called for a 30 percent increase in medical school slots to meet shortages forecast by 2020.   “We are an aging population, a growing population,” said Jordan Cohen, M.D., of the AAMC. “And our physician supply has not kept pace with the growth.”

            The innovative partnership between FAU and UMMSM plans to address the shortage of physicians in Palm Beach County. Within three years, the program will grow to accommodate 256 students.   In addition, because of the strong link between where physicians complete their residency training and where they establish their medical practice, the UMMSM at FAU plans to create additional residency programs at the same time that additional medical school capacity is created in order to enable medical students to remain in the region for residency training.   Plans are in place to have residency programs in place by 2009, when the charter class admitted in 2007 begins their clinical internships.

The expansion of the regional campus from two to four years also includes the development of a new four-year curriculum that emphasizes comprehensive chronic disease management, as well as case-based and patient-centered education that uses collaborative, small-group student learning communities.

For more information, contact Vicki Katz, director of development for the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, at 561-297-1139, or vkatz1@fau.edu, or David Paikin, JD, senior executive director of major gifts, Miller School of Medicine, at 305-243-6621 or dpaikin@med.miami.edu.

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