Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU medical program gets budget surgery

The FAU College of Biomedical Science might have a quiet atmosphere this fall semester as FAU’s young medical program was forced to accept fewer students.

The limitation on acceptance to the program is due to the $16.7 million budget cuts affecting FAU. The College of Biomedical Science was forced to eliminate $1.7 million from its budget, and as a result, it’s only accepting 48 students, down from last year’s 64.

Dr. Michael L. Friedland, dean of the medical program, claims the program may be slowing down, but it’s far from stopping.
“Unlike other programs offered at FAU that have been removed altogether, the medical program is only taking a step back and slowing down,” he says.

Friedland explains that even though the College of Biomedical Science is only accepting 48 of the hundreds of students who applied, the program is introducing its new curriculum, which allows students to work in groups of eight with their professors. These small learning groups are designed to encourage a more direct form of teaching.

He also revealed the future plans for the medical program.
“For the students in the program, we are developing residency programs. Our surgery residencies we expect to be up in the next two years … as these programs take time,” says Friedland. 

The residency programs will allow students in the program to study in their field of practice and gain experience firsthand.
“I have no doubt that, as times improve, we will be able to accept all who are willing and qualified into our program. It’s only a matter of time before we are able to accept the planned 64,” Friedland explains.

When the medical program first opened in 2007, it was ahead of schedule and on a fast track for growth. It offers a full-course program with a medical degree on the Boca campus, and there were plans for an on-campus student hospital in connection with Boca Raton Community Hospital.

Things changed, however, as FAU was forced to undergo a series of budget cuts. In addition to the school’s financial setbacks, the hospital plans were put on hold as Boca Raton Community Hospital was in the midst of its own budget crisis, leading to the University of Miami pulling out of the deal and taking their $750,000 contribution.

According to Friedland, “the student hospital may or may not be built. Boca Community has their own challenges and obstacles that must be faced; as a result, it is up in the air. However, even without the student hospital, the program will continue to grow accordingly. Students want to join the program. We had hundreds of students apply this term, and hopefully the students will keep applying.”

Only time will tell if the medical program can get back on track.

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