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FSU College of Medicine Celebrates 10 Years of Accomplishments

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CONTACT: Doug Carlson
(850) 645-1255;

By Doug Carlson
April 7, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — From an initial group of 30 students and borrowed classroom space to a current enrollment of 451 students and a $60 million, state-of-the-art main campus, the Florida State University College of Medicine has come a long way in 10 years.

The college will celebrate its 10th anniversary April 9-10 at the Program In Medical Sciences (PIMS) and College of Medicine Alumni Reunion Weekend. Special guests include members of the inaugural Class of 2005 and Florida State President Emeritus Talbot “Sandy “ D’Alemberte, who will present “The History of the College of Medicine: From Ideas to Outcomes,” at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the College of Medicine Auditorium. A reception in the atrium will follow.

D’Alemberte helped guide the medical school through a tumultuous accreditation process. The success of that effort led to changes that paved the way for more new medical schools in the United States. The creation of a medical school at Florida State was a contentious political battle during the spring 2000 legislative session. Backed by research highlighting the need for more U.S. physicians — especially those who would practice primary care — the College of Medicine at Florida State was approved and signed into law by then-Gov. Jeb Bush.

With administrative offices housed in trailers and using the nursing school’s classroom space, the first new medical school in the United States in nearly a quarter-century opened its doors in May 2001. During Friday’s anniversary celebration, the College of Medicine will highlight many of its accomplishments during the first 10 years, including:

  • Nearly 60 percent of graduates to date have entered primary care residency programs, consistent with the medical school’s mission.
  • Two-thirds of graduates to complete residency training are practicing in Florida, with most of those working in primary care.
  • The research program, begun in 2002, has experienced a more than 600 percent increase in grant funding despite a difficult economic climate.
  • Through planned growth, the college will reach full enrollment of 480 in May.
  • Regional campuses have been opened in six Florida cities, allowing for the one-on-one clinical training in community settings that sets the Florida State College of Medicine apart from other medical schools.
  • More than 1,500 community physicians across the state are teaching third- and fourth-year students.

D’Alemberte, former College of Medicine Dean J. Ocie Harris, current Dean John P. Fogarty and members of the first graduating class will be available to the media on Friday. For a complete list of reunion weekend activities at the College of Medicine, visit the Alumni Reunion Page.