CMU Adds Medical School

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Central Michigan University board votes to establish school of medicine driven by current and future physician shortage in mid- and northern Michigan.

Central Michigan University will begin to educate its inaugural class of 100 future physicians as early as Fall 2011. Citing the institution’s responsibility to help Michigan prepare for an impending shortage of 6,000 physicians by 2020, the CMU Board of Trustees, at its Sept. 18 meeting, authorized President Michael Rao to proceed with establishing a school of medicine.

Numerous feasibility studies demonstrating CMU’s strength in the basic sciences, library resources and instructional technology, coupled with programs within the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions and the College of Science and Technology, provided a strong foundation to establish a school of medicine that meets the accreditation standards of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

“This reflects the responsibility and foresight an educational institution like CMU must have to meet the future health care needs of Michigan residents,” said CMU Board of Trustees Chairman Jeffrey R. Caponigro. “This is an important, visionary move that will benefit the entire state. Extensive feasibility studies have confirmed the board’s belief that Central Michigan University is well prepared to move forward with the establishment of a school of medicine.”

The next step in the process will be reaching clinical affiliation agreements with appropriate health care organizations, a critical component of an accredited school of medicine. Discussions have been held with potential health care partners, including Covenant HealthCare, St. Mary’s of Michigan, Synergy Medical Education Alliance, and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Saginaw; MidMichigan Health Systems in Midland; Ascension Health Care in Michigan; and Central Michigan Community Hospital in Mount Pleasant, to explore clinical affiliation agreements and preceptorships.

The ongoing budget structure for the operation of a CMU school of medicine would come from privately raised funds and tuition. The program would have a rural focus with a hybrid instructional model in a clinical context as opposed to research or clinical practice. The school of medicine also would focus on diseases most prevalent in mid- and northern Michigan regions.

In other board action, trustees approved a resolution authorizing the hiring of an architectural and engineering firm to prepare the design and construction documents for an addition to the Health Professions Building to house the proposed school of medicine, which will include spaces to bring together existing programs.

To learn more about the CMU school of medicine, go to http://www.cmich.edu/med.

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