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.


Doctors on campus


Biology major Sarah Campbell doesn’t want to drive to Miami or move to Gainesville to become a doctor. Now she won’t have to, as FAU is getting a medical school.

On Feb. 7, FAU received its preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the national authority for medical education programs in the United States.

“This is a very exciting time,” said Michael Friedland, dean of the College of Medicine. “In becoming a medical school, FAU becomes part of an ‘exclusive club.” According to Friedland, there are about 140 medical schools in the country. With the accreditation, FAU will become the fifth medical school in Florida.

The accreditation process begins with the LCME visiting the university looking to be approved. It then notifies schools about six months before the scheduled visit, giving them sufficient time to create their own medical education database, which contains educational program outlines for medical students and faculty members.

After that, the LCME sends a survey team to examine the potential school for accreditation, which is based on the resulting survey report.

Friedland said it normally takes several years to receive preliminary accreditation, but FAU got it in two.

The school will have a program to place students in community clinical education, offering experiences with local hospitals and physicians.

“I think FAU is growing, and expanding,” said senior biology major Johnnetta Nuby. “I hope the medical school brings more positive attention and gets FAU’s name known.”

Nuby, who aspires to become a pediatrician, said she would apply to FAU’s medical school because she likes the Boca campus, and she’s already an undergraduate.

Like Nuby, other FAU students feel their existing familiarity with the university would play a role in their decision to attend the medical school.

Biology major Gilbert Jean Baptiste also feels he wants to stay at FAU for medical school.

“I’ve dedicated four years to FAU,” Jean Baptiste said. “Transitioning to somewhere else would honestly make me miss the school.”

The College of Medicine will be located on the Boca campus in a new $20 million, 95,000-square-foot facility designed especially for the medical school and further education in the biomedical sciences.

However, there is currently no set date to begin construction, according to Friedland.

The school has already established affiliations with more than 250 physicians and eight hospitals in both Palm Beach and Broward counties. These affiliations will allow medical students to fulfill residency requirements and obtain the hands-on experience required for the medical profession.

The medical school will assist in providing more doctors for Palm Beach County and the state of Florida, which will need 63 percent more doctors in the next 10 years, according to an estimate from the American Academy of Family Physicians.

“It will result in economic benefits,” Friedland said. “We can become a driver for Palm Beach County and South Florida, meet a community service need and enhance FAU’s stature in the community.”


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