Committee Recommends Medical School Approval, Hospital Funding
A UC Board of Regents educational policy committee on Tuesday recommended approval of UC-Riverside's plan to build a medical school, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. The recommendation awaits final approval on Thursday by the full Board of Regents.
The school would be the state's first new public medical school in nearly 40 years and is part of a UC expansion plan to address the projected shortage of physicians in the state.
UC Provost Rory Hume said that California will face a shortage of up to 17,000 physicians by 2015. Hume is chair of a UC advisory council that recommended approving the proposed medical school.
UC-Riverside officials said they plan to enroll the first four-year medical students by 2012. The university plans by 2022 to have 384 medical students and 160 graduate students. The cost of opening a medical school is about $860 million, officials said (Agha, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/15).
The regents committee on Tuesday also approved UCLA's request for an additional $308 million to complete the Ronald Reagan Medical Center on its Westwood campus and build a new hospital in Santa Monica (Engel, Los Angeles Times, 11/15).
More than half of the additional funding would be used to complete the 525-bed facility in Westwood. Occupancy is expected next fall. The 172-bed Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital is scheduled to open in 2009 (California Healthline, 11/14).