Before this medical school was created in 2000, the prevailing wisdom had been that the U.S. actually had a surplus of medical schools and physicians. Research done in connection with the College of Medicine’s founding, however, began a monumental shift in that thinking. It turned out that the physicians in this country were plentiful but were rapidly approaching retirement age. What’s more, they were not distributed effectively for all patients. Rural areas in particular had a severe shortage of physicians. In general, primary-care physicians – the backbone of our health-care system – were found to be in short supply.
The principal focus of the College of Medicine is on meeting the primary-care needs of the state of Florida, with a particular emphasis on the rural, the minority, the elderly and other underserved populations
We graduated our first class in 2005. Through 2010, more than 55 percent of our alumni had matched in one of these primary-care specialties: internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics or obstetrics-gynecology.
The larger goal is to serve the underserved. In that sense, producing a surgeon who will serve in rural Florida is at least as valuable as producing another family physician who will serve in Orlando. We strive to fill Florida’s need for better medical care for all of its residents.