Classes for students began Aug. 12, and the state now officially has two medical schools. Following an earlier ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences on the campus of Marian University in Indianapolis welcomed 162 students to the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“The dream of opening Indiana’s second medical school would not have been realized if it weren’t for the strong support we’ve received from the state’s health care community,” said Paul Evans, D.O., vice president and dean of the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM).
Our state is projected to need about 5,000 more doctors to serve an aging population, but MU-COM brings some hope to relieve that problem. More than half of the new school’s students are Hoosier residents who qualify for scholarships that require them to stay in Indiana after graduation to establish primary care practices in rural and underserved areas.
The new school also promises to have an economic impact here, estimated to be in excess of $130 million by the time the first class graduates in 2017. More than $50 million was spent to construct the school building, directly creating more than 300 jobs – with another 185 jobs created indirectly. In total, nearly $100 million was raised to help fund the med school project.
“In addition to the strong financial support we’ve received, we also now have 9,000 teaching beds through affiliations with the 39 hospitals in our Clinical Education Network,” noted Dr. Evans. “Caregivers across the state will realize very quickly that Marian University is educating a very high quality student, and that our graduates are going to have a very positive impact on health care in Indiana.”
|Faculty members Michael Kichera, D.O., (top) and Garren Gebhardt, D.O., enjoy the first day of class.
Teaching for tomorrow
Combining traditional and systems-based learning models, MU-COM will not prepare its students to work in 2013, but to deliver health care in the future. Supporting that goal, the building has wireless connectivity and all students receive an iPad. All books and library references will be electronic and student examinations will be completed on the iPads.
Anatomy labs are essential for medical schools, but the one at MU-COM has 35 stations with computers that offer students access to X-rays, MRIs and the Internet. Four state-of-the-art simulation labs and 10 exam rooms come with mannequins and audio-visual recording capabilities, allowing students to replay and learn from their experiences.
Two dozen full-time faculty members will ensure Indiana’s new medical school is the first in the U.S. to respond to the Carnegie Foundation’s call to reform medical education by structuring the curriculum with new pedagogies and forms of assessment for the core competencies needed by an osteopathic physician.
“This opening represents a milestone for medicine in Indiana,” said Gordon Hughes, M.D., ISMA president. “We look forward to supporting the new school in the future, welcoming new osteopathic physicians to our organization, and increasing Indiana’s primary care physician base so new generations of Hoosiers have access to the care they need.”