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UCR Proposes Medical School to UC Officials


UCR to Submit Medical School Proposal to UC Officials

Plans to submit an application hailed as an important milestone for UC Riverside's Health Sciences Initiative

(November 10, 2005)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Nov. 10, 2005 — To help meet the Inland Empire's urgent need for doctors, UC Riverside plans to submit a proposal for a medical school to a special committee appointed by the University of California President that will include members of the Board of Regents.

UCR Chancellor France Córdova made the announcement today at the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce's monthly “Good Morning Riverside” event. The proposed medical school and a new health sciences research institute make up the University's Health Sciences Initiative.

“A school of medicine would offer a tremendous opportunity for serving the health care needs of our underserved region and populace, and for transforming the Inland Empire to a knowledge-driven economy,” Córdova said. “A research-based school of medicine would attract start-up companies and venture capital to our area.”

Córdova told the morning crowd of local business leaders and elected officials that the region's shortfall for doctors will reach 53 percent in the next decade. She also noted that the UC system trains only about 15 percent of the physicians who practice medicine in California.

“Our region has among the lowest ratio of primary care physicians and specialists per capita in California,” she said. “We have a very strong case to make. With our existing biomedical sciences program and more than 80 faculty in related fields such as immunology, genomics, nanoscience, and public health, UCR has a strong foundation upon which to build a medical school.”

The UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences allows students to take the first two years of their medical education at UCR and the remaining two years at UCLA. They receive their M.D. degrees from UCLA.

UCR has another advantage over other campuses in the system in that its proposal would not require construction of a new hospital to serve the medical school, resulting in a significant reduction in cost, Córdova said Thursday. Instead, UCR's medical school plan calls for collaboration with existing hospitals in the region. If successful, it would be the first public medical school built in the state in 40 years.

In March 2006, UCR will formally submit a proposal for the medical school to a special committee appointed by UC President Robert Dynes. Later, medical school proposals from UC campuses will be presented to the full UC Board of Regents.

“One of the keys to bringing this vision to fruition will be demonstrating enthusiastic, across-the-board support from all of our stakeholder groups,” Córdova said. “Once these groups become aware of the benefits of a medical school program to the region, that will not be difficult.”

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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