UA medical school opening sets stage for future

October 11, 2006

By hammersmith

University of Arizona introduced its new Phoenix-based medical school campus with a grand opening that drew a crowd of more than 800.

The medical school is housed in the historical and newly restored Phoenix Union High School buildings, part of the larger Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

The campus already houses the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen), International Genomics Consortium (IGC), a branch of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, and offices for St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center’s Barrow Neurological Institute.

In addition to the medical school, the campus is planned to eventually accommodate a UA pharmacy college expansion; Arizona State University’s nursing school and biomedical informatics program; health programs allied with Northern Arizona University; and additional research facilities.

The medical school opening marks an unprecedented collaboration between University of Arizona and Arizona State University. In addition to sharing a campus, the two universities will collaborate on research and share faculty members.

“By linking arms with ASU, NAU, and TGen, we are entering into an arrangement unique in America and unique in its potential to redefine medical education in this country,” said UA President Robert Shelton in a speech. “We are creating a new whole that will be far greater than the sum of its parts.”

The medical school will accept its first class of 24 students in fall 2007, with the goal of graduating 150 students per year by 2015.

If this goal is met, the medical school will be the state’s largest producer of physicians.

“When you combine that with the class in Tucson, that’s 260 new graduates every year,” Judy Bernas, UA associate vice president of external affairs for the Phoenix campus, told the Business Journal. “That is really significant.”

For more information:

UA medical school opening draws crowd in downtown Phoenix,” Business Journal, 10/10/2006

UA medical school opens with hints at big plans,” Arizona Republic, 10/11/2006

UA opens Phoenix medical campus,” Arizona Daily Star, 10/11/2006