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Key facts related to joint medical school


BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 3, 2007 – Virginia Tech and Carilion will create a jointly operated private medical school, located in downtown Roanoke. The new school will be dedicated to training physician researchers. In addition to a traditional medical school curriculum, all students will receive training in research methods, conduct original research and write a thesis as a condition of graduation.

To accommodate the expanded graduation requirements, the school will have a five-year curriculum instead of the traditional four-year curriculum.[Ed. Note: After evaluating the program, VTC educators elected to establish a four year curriculum. However, students will produce a research project of publishable caliber as a requirement of graduation.]

School Details

  • Small, 40 students per class. Total enrollment when the full five-year program is underway would be approximately 200 students
  • Main Location: Roanoke, in the Riverside Corporate Center; see a site plan
  • Private, 50/50 joint venture of Carilion and Virginia Tech
  • Tuition: comparable to other private medical schools
  • The school will be patterned after Harvard Medical School’s Health Sciences and Technology program and Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner College of Medicine.


Education and Research

  • In addition to a traditional medical school curriculum, all students will receive training in research methods, conduct original research and write a thesis as a condition of graduation
  • To accommodate the expanded graduation requirements, the school will have a five year curriculum instead of the traditional four year curriculum. [Ed. Note: After evaluating the program, VTC educators elected to establish a four year curriculum. However, students will produce a research project of publishable caliber as a requirement of graduation.]
  • Training in the principles of conducting research will be integrated in the entire curriculum, beginning in the first year
  • Small class size will support the Problem Based Learning and seminar instructional format intended for the school
  • In addition to training students to be excellent clinical doctors, the goal is to train research physicians who wish to make research part of their medical career
  • Concurrent MD and master’s degree program possible during five year program [Ed. Note: After evaluating the program, VTC educators elected to establish a four year curriculum. However, students will produce a research project of publishable caliber as a requirement of graduation.]
  • The partnership takes advantage of Virginia Tech’s world-class research programs that are applicable to medical research, such as bioinformatics, computer science and engineering


Need

  • 30 million people, including communities in Virginia, are currently affected by physician shortages
  • A 30 percent increase in medical school enrollment is needed to meet future needs – this will require the creation of new medical schools (American Association of Medical Colleges –AAMC)
  • Area’s physician population is aging – graduating physician specialists are more likely to locate close to the place where they received their training
  • The school will also help fill a national need for research physicians; less than two percent of active physicians are pursuing careers involving research


Cost

  • Although the school’s financial plan is not yet finalized, Carilion and Virginia Tech are in a unique position to develop a cost effective, financial self sustaining school
  • The key academic infrastructure needed for a medical school is already in place at Virginia Tech and Carilion
  • Carilion has been part of a strong and successful medical education program for more than 50 years, and currently sponsors seven medical residency programs with more than 100 full-time faculty physicians
  • Virginia Tech currently teaches most of the basic science courses needed for a medical school curriculum
  • Virginia Tech already has a vast array of applicable world-class research underway in which the students may participate
  • Virginia Tech and Carilion will rely on current resources plus tuition to meet the school’s operating needs
  • Philanthropic gifts are anticipated to fund future programs
  • One-time state funding will be sought to help build the school in the spirit of a public-private partnership


Benefits

  • The school will have a significant impact on regional economic development. every dollar spent by a medical school or teaching hospital creates an additional $1.30 in economic activity (AAMC)
  • Medical schools nation-wide (though most are tax-exempt) generated $14.7 billion in state tax revenue
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School and its affiliated hospitals contribute $923 million to the state’s economy
  • Penn State College of Medicine and its affiliated medical center had a $613 million statewide economic impact in 2002
  • Ohio’s seven medical schools and affiliated teaching hospitals had a $20 billion impact on state business volume
  • Florida International University Medical School, opening in 2008, is estimated to have a $58 million economic impact in the first year of operations, growing to $1.1 billion in 20 years
  • Access to medical research opportunities and funding is necessary for Virginia Tech to achieve its top-30 research university goal
  • The school and Research institute will also provide valuable support to Carilion’s conversion to a clinic model
  • The school will make an important contribution to the limited national pool of doctors who do active medical research