The State Board of Education’s unanimous voted this morning to approve the licensure of Quinnipiac University’s new Doctor of Medicine degree, which will enable the university to enroll its first class of students next fall at its new Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine. Gov. Dannel Malloy announced this morning.
“The State Board of Education’s vote today is a great step forward for Quinnipiac University as it moves towards the creation of a medical school that will be at the forefront of addressing the critical need for more primary care physicians," said Malloy.
“Connecticut’s medical institutions are internationally recognized, and I am proud that our state is continuing to add to a tradition of advancing an industry that is saving lives, curing diseases and strengthening our position as a global leader," he said. "The new medical school is another way our state is further cementing itself as a destination for the health and life sciences industry – an industry that is poised for growth and will lead to good paying jobs with good benefits for residents.”
The state BOE action was one of two important endorsements earned this week as it moves closer to offering its first classes to students who aspire to become primary care physicians.
Earlier the Liaison Committee on Medical Education granted the medical school preliminary accreditation, and with the Connecticut State Board of Education approving the university’s medical degree program, it clears the way for the School of Medicine to begin recruiting its first class for the Fall of 2013.
“Adding a medical school to Quinnipiac’s existing schools of law, health sciences, nursing, communications, education, business and engineering and College of Arts and Sciences will continue Quinnipiac's transformation into a major national university," said Quinnipiac President John L. Lahey. "When the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine enrolls its first medical students in the fall of 2013, Quinnipiac will join fewer than 100 universities in America that have both law and medical schools.”
Dr. Bruce Koeppen, founding dean of the medical school, said, “Receiving preliminary accreditation from the LCME and approval by the State Board of Education are important milestones in the development of the School of Medicine. These actions are a testament to the efforts of many individuals who have worked tirelessly to build the school. More important, applicants to our school can be assured that they will receive a high quality medical education that will prepare them for the contemporary practice of medicine."
The medical school, founded to address the nation’s pressing need for primary care physicians, is aiming to become a national model of interprofessional health care education and improve the way patient care is delivered. Medical students at Quinnipiac will be part of a learning environment where they will interact with students from Quinnipiac’s School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing to learn to become effective members of a primary health care team.
"The analogy is a NASCAR pit crew," Koeppen said. "Where you have a group of people with very specific talents and knowledge and expertise on the pit crew coming together to take care of the car.”
“Quinnipiac will be at the forefront nationally in addressing the critical need for more primary care physicians, especially as health care reform is expected to bring an additional 30 million Americans into the U.S. health care system," Lahey said. "A Quinnipiac medical school with a primary care emphasis combined with our existing primary care-focused nurse practitioner and physician assistant programs will make Quinnipiac uniquely positioned to help solve the primary care needs of our country.”
The medical school, which will become the third in Connecticut, has already received widespread support from the state’s medical community. St. Vincent’s Medical Center, of Bridgeport, was named the medical school’s primary clinical partner last year. The affiliation with St. Vincent’s is especially important because it establishes a medical school-hospital affiliation in the state’s largest city whose residents will have more access to health care as a result of the collaboration.
"LCME accreditation marks another important milestone for the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University," said St. Vincent's Medical Center President Stuart G. Marcus, M.D. "As the medical school's primary clinical partner, the faculty members at St. Vincent's are looking forward to educating students in the clinical sciences and teaching them the principles of safe, reliable patient care of the highest quality."
The first class at the medical school will have 60 students. That number is expected to grow to 125 students per class by 2017.
The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine is named in honor of the noted surgeon and world's most prolific medical illustrator. A major gift from Barbara and the late Edward Netter makes possible this tribute to Edward's first cousin. Beginning in the late 1930s, Dr. Frank Netter began illustrating the entire anatomic and pathologic character of the human body, system by system.