WMU School of Medicine breaks ground, receives preliminary accreditation

Western Michigan University has just broken ground for their new school of medicine less than a month after the opening ceremonies for CMU's own College of Medicine.

Hal Jensen, founding dean of WMU's School of Medicine, announced the preliminary accreditation of the school on Oct. 12 during the groundbreaking ceremonies. The school is expected to have its first class begin in fall 2014.

Ernest Yoder, founding dean of CMU's College of Medicine, said WMU's new school will compete for the top medical students at all medical schools, not just at CMU.

"I do not believe WMU will harm CMU in anyway," Yoder said. "They will help to address the physician shortage in Michigan."

CMU has been collaborating with WMU on the Liaison Committee on Medical Education accreditation process. Yoder said he looks forward to working with the leaders at WMU.

"In addition to LCME, we have the opportunity to collaborate in curriculum design, development of educational sites and in development of new residency training programs in Michigan," he said.

CMU received its own preliminary LCME accreditation on Feb. 24, making it one of 137 M.D. granting medical schools.

Yoder told CM Life previously the school is expecting to receive provisional accreditation from LCME in 2015, and full accreditation in 2017.

The 350,000 square-foot, seven-story facility will cost WMU an estimated $68 million in renovations and expansions for the building, according to an announcement on the WMU website. This is compared to more than $30 million in start-up costs for  CMU's 60,000 square-foot College of Medicine, CM Life reported previously. CMU's facilities include a $7 million research laboratory, and are an addition to the Health Professions Building.

WMU's medical college will be funded privately, Bob Miller, associate vice president for community outreach at WMU, told CM Life. CMU's College of Medicine, on the other hand, will be financed through funds of existing academic programs.

"A new medical school will contribute to meeting the national and local need for physicians and also bring benefits to the state of Michigan and Kalamazoo community," WMU President John Dunn said at the university's groundbreaking ceremony earlier this month.


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