Quinnipiac University to open medical school

Andrew Vazzano

Quinnipiac University will begin the process of opening a medical school, President John L. Lahey announced Thursday morning.

The medical school, which will be located on the North Haven Campus, is planned to open in 2013 or 2014.  The first class will enroll about 50 students, while the school will eventually have 500, according to the Associated Press.

The plan, approved by the school’s board of trustees, is expected to cost $75 million.

A year of internal study and a six-month study conducted by outside experts deemed the medical school feasible for the University.

Photo Credit: Joe Pelletier

“Two major challenges that must be successfully met are securing a major hospital/health system clinical partner and meeting the very high and demanding accreditation standards of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education,” Lahey said in a press release. “Quinnipiac will turn its immediate attention to these two requirements and goals.”

Quinnipiac’s medical school will focus on primary care and global health.

“A medical school is the next logical extension for Quinnipiac since we now prepare so many other essential members of the health care team,” Quinnipiac’s Dean of the School of Health Sciences Edward O’Connor said.

The school will begin searching for a hospital or health care partner and accreditation through the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.  The LCME, according to its Web site, accredits schools that grant a doctor of medicine degree.  The Association of American Medical Colleges, which accredits 131 medical schools nationwide, sponsors LCME.

The North Haven campus, where the medical school will be located, was purchased from WellPoint, Inc. in Sept. 2007.   Currently, the School of Health Sciences occupies one building on the North Haven campus.

Through the agreement, the University leases back three buildings to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield association, of which WellPoint is an independent licensee.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield will phase out use of the North Haven campus over the next 10 years, at which point Quinnipiac will assume control of the buildings. The University’s plan is to renovate the buildings once they have control over them to turn them into classrooms, study rooms and labs.

The University of Connecticut School of Medicine and the Yale School of Medicine are currently the only two universities in the state to operate a medical school.  Currently, there are 89 universities in the United States that have both law and medical schools.
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