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FSU College of Medicine Launches Regional Campuses in Tallahassee, Pensacola and Orlando

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By Nancy Kinnally
July 10, 2003

 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State University College of Medicine is launching its first three regional medical school campuses this week in Tallahassee, Pensacola and Orlando.

The first new medical school to be established in the United States in 20 years, the FSU College of Medicine also is one of only a few medical schools in the country to operate multiple community-based campuses.

The 30 students in the medical school’s inaugural class are beginning their third-year clinical rotations in doctors’ offices, hospitals and other medical facilities in all three cities and surrounding areas.

Five of the students will spend their third and fourth years of medical school at the Tallahassee campus, while 14 have been assigned to the Orlando campus, and 11 to the Pensacola campus.

All 30 students completed their first two years of medical school on the FSU campus in Tallahassee.

In all, more than 250 practicing physicians and 10 hospitals, as well as a number of outpatient facilities, have been selected to participate in the clinical education of FSU medical students.

In the third and fourth year, FSU medical students train one-on-one with physicians in eight clinical specialties: family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry, surgery and emergency medicine, as well as a variety of fourth-year electives.

As the medical school’s enrollment continues to increase, as many as 40 students (20 third-year students and 20 fourth-year students) eventually will be assigned each regional campus, and additional campuses in Ft. Myers, Jacksonville and Sarasota will be developed.

“The medical school is a great benefit to our community,” said Richard Morrison, regional vice president of Florida Hospital, one of the medical school’s clinical affiliates. “Not only will it be a prime source for recruiting residents to our family practice teaching program, but it also strengthens our quality of care. Teaching students brings out the best in physicians and hospitals.”

Sharon Roush, CEO of Tallahassee Community Hospital, believes the partnership between the hospital and the medical school will advance health care in the region.

“As we embark on the opening of our new hospital, which, like the medical school, will be equipped with the latest technology, we believe there will be a lasting impact on our area through the training of medical students who will go on to provide quality health care in the communities we serve,” Roush said.

The medical school’s 21st century approach to medicine also is appreciated by the community physicians who have been selected to serve as faculty for the students’ third and fourth years.

“The information technology available through FSU will help students and faculty alike stay abreast of the rapid advancement of medical science,” said Jeff Chicola, M.D., surgery clerkship director for the Pensacola campus.

The college was established in 2000 with a mission of educating physicians to care for Florida’s rural, geriatric, minority, and other medically underserved populations. It received initial accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in October and recently received another positive review from accreditation officials.

Currently three classes are enrolled at the FSU College of Medicine with a total of 115 students.