While CMED’s first-ever semester is underway, another medical school is close to opening nearby.
Western Michigan University’s college of medicine will open its doors to a 50-student inaugural class in Fall 2014.
WMED’s founding dean, Hal Jenson, is certain that the two medical schools will work in unison to address deficits of licensed doctors across the state.
“Its great to have both medical schools,” Jenson said. “There is a shortage of physicians in Michigan. There are plenty of great applicants out there who will become great physicians.”
Jenson said WMED has already looked to CMED and other new medical schools as models.
“We’re not in competition with CMU,” he said. “CMED’s been a great help to us. They’re a year ahead, and they’ve helped us with what they’ve done. We’ve taken the best practices from a number of medical schools.”
WMED formed in 2009 as an expansion of Michigan State University’s regional clinical campus in Kalamazoo. While recruitment will largely comprise Michigan students, Jenson said that WMED is looking to draw student from 16 other states, including California.
“We’re a private medical school,” Jenson said. “While we expect to have Michigan students, we are recruiting nationally. There’s no quota.”
CMED’s Senior Associate Dean of Administration and Finance Deborah Biggs said the two medical schools have very different visions. She explained that while CMED is aimed to serve specific regions in middle and upper Michigan, WMED is positioned to operate as a more traditional medical school.
“(WMED) has more of a standard mission,” Biggs said. “They’re poised differently. They’re more broad.”
Biggs said that the school’s mission of recruiting students from communities CMED intends to serve is uncommon among nearby medical schools.
“We’re very unique as far as medical schools are concerned,” Biggs said. “Where you come from, where your training is, is the biggest predictor of where you end up. We recruit students from those areas where we’re hoping to address the hospital shortage.”
First class: 64
Class capacity: 104
Size: 60,000 sq. ft.
Building cost: $24 million
Hospitals partnered: Covenant and St. Mary’s of Michigan (Saginaw)
First class: 50
Class capacity: 80
Size: 350,000 sq. ft.
Building cost: $68 million
Hospitals partnered: Bronson Healthcare and Borgess Health (Kalamazoo)