By | February 6, 2008 12:00 am

Team Says Aspect of Plan for College has Potential to be National Model

The University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine reached its most significant milestone to date when the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) notified the college that it has been granted preliminary accreditation.

The decision follows a December site visit to Orlando and allows the college to begin recruiting students for classes scheduled to start in 2009.

“This is a truly historic achievement for the University of Central Florida and our community,” UCF President John Hitt said. “We reached this milestone thanks to the dedication of our UCF team and the overwhelming support from our Central Florida community. I look forward to the day when we welcome our first students to the world-class UCF College of Medicine.”

The LCME met in Chicago and voted on Feb. 5 to grant UCF preliminary accreditation, giving UCF has the go ahead to recruit its first class of 40 students. The college expects to attract the best students from around Florida and the nation.

“I couldn’t be happier or more proud of our team,” said College of Medicine Dean Deborah German, M.D. “They exceeded my expectations in every way as we strive to build a medical school that will be a model for21st century medical education. We’re pleased to reach this milestone and will now attend to the work of preparing for our first class.”

The site visit team said that UCF’s plan for the College of Medicine is worthy of emulation in the way it uses UCF resources (particularly in information technology, knowledge management, simulation technology, software development and faculty development) and has the potential to be a national model in knowledge management and assessment systems.

The LCME is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree in U.S. and Canadian medical schools. The LCME is a joint committee of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association.

The College of Medicine will make history when all 40first-year students have full scholarships. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, no other medical school has funded an entire class.

The college has secured 23 of the 40 scholarships to date, which will cover the cost of tuition and living expenses for the four-year medical degree program.

“I’m confident that with preliminary accreditation, our community will continue its remarkable support for the College of Medicine and our scholarship program,” German said.

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The four-year medical program will capitalize on UCF’s existing strengths in biomedical sciences, modeling and simulation, and optics and photonics. Other programs in materials science, psychology, hospitality, chemistry, film and digital media, and nursing will support the program. Eventually the college will produce about 120 medical graduates each year.

The college will be located at the UCF Health Sciences Campus at Lake Nona, on 50 acres that will also include a medical library and other health sciences programs. Construction began on the Burnett Biomedical Research Building in March 2007.

The California-based Burnham Institute for Medical Research, a Veteran’s Administration hospital, Nemours Children’s Hospital and M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Institute will also call Lake Nona home, turning the area into a medical city.

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