FAU Celebrates Preliminary Accreditation for New Medical School
BOCA RATON, FL (March 1, 2011) — Florida Atlantic University President Mary Jane Saunders and Dean Michael L. Friedland, M.D., Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, celebrated the university’s achievement of a new medical school with a reception to commemorate receiving preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) to begin recruiting the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine’s charter medical school class for fall 2011.
Among the nearly 200 attendees were members from the Florida Board of Governors, State University System of Florida, FAU’s Board of Trustees and Foundation Board of Directors, the College’s advisory board, elected officials, affiliate hospitals’ leadership, and philanthropists, Richard and Barbara Schmidt.
“What a great way to start Florida Atlantic University’s fiftieth anniversary,” said Saunders. “Today is a wonderful occasion to celebrate just the right prescription for a healthy future for South Florida. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Schmidt family and the numerous individuals whose vision of bringing an independent medical school to FAU never wavered.”
The generosity of the Schmidt Family Foundation’s record-breaking 1998 gift of $15 million, which grew to $30 million with a state match, funded construction of the 95,000-square-foot facility on the Boca Raton campus that will house the new medical school. The facility was designed specifically with a vision of medical education and for the synergistic collaboration in biomedical sciences research at FAU. The previously established biomedical research success and National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards in macular degeneration, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and aging provide a strong foundation for the Schmidt College of Medicine to position itself as a top research school and immediately address some of the nation’s most pressing health challenges.
Speaking at the event along with Saunders was Robert J. Stilley, chair, FAU Board of Trustees; Friedland, vice president for medical programs and dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine; Harry Orf, Ph.D., vice president scientific operations, Scripps Florida; and former Florida House Majority Leader; Adam Hasner.
“Preliminary accreditation means we can now begin recruiting our first class of 64 medical students,” said Friedland. “This new program opens the door of opportunity to students here in our community who want to become physicians and biomedical researchers, and promises to be a boon to the entire local community.”
The Schmidt College of Medicine has developed a new and innovative curriculum titled “Integrated Patient Focused Curriculum” (IPFC), which features early and continuous community-based clinical experiences and problem-based learning with emphasis on small-group and self-directed learning. World-class faculty in the college will provide a student-centered and patient-focused approach that includes clinical experiences with local physicians, health departments and hospitals, and a state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Simulation Center. The curriculum also provides the integration of a rigorous foundation in basic and clinical biomedical sciences with the social and behavioral aspects of medicine. FAU has partnered with The Scripps Research Institute, Florida (TSRI) to offer a dual M.D./Ph.D. degree, with the medical degree conferred by FAU and the doctorate conferred by The Scripps Research Institute’s Kellogg School of Science and Technology.
“As America’s newest medical school, this is a new chapter in the history of Florida Atlantic University,” said Stilley. “Over the course of the past 50 years, FAU has been transformed from a small collection of buildings on an abandoned World War II airbase to a thriving institution where people from all 50 states and more than 130 countries study, live and work.”
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About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges : the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science . FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu .