Merced, Stanislaus County Officials Call for New UC Medical School
On Tuesday, Merced and Stanislaus County Boards of Supervisors both voted unanimously to support a resolution to establish a medical school at UC-Merced, the Modesto Bee reports. County supervisors in Kings and Mariposa counties passed similar resolutions last week.
Stanislaus supervisor Jim DeMartini said the medical school could help improve the state's physician shortage but added that "there is a $9 billion bond being proposed for higher education funding for the November ballot, and it includes not one dollar for medical facilities at UC-Merced."
At DeMartini's request, the board added language to the resolution that would request full state funding to establish a UC medical school in San Joaquin Valley.
University officials hope to have the school operational by 2013.
UC-Merced officials also recently completed a business plan for the school with input from medical professionals at UC-Davis, UC-San Francisco and UC-San Francisco's Fresno Medical Education Program, Brandy Nikaido, medical education planning spokesperson, said.
Nikaido said that the UC Board of Regents could vote on a final draft of the proposed medical school plans this year. If the regents approve the plan, the Legislature would decide whether to fund the school, the Bee reports.
However, the projected $14.5 billion state budget deficit could create funding challenges for the school, and university officials are unsure how it will effect the school's plans, Nikaido said. She added that the school has included steps in its business plan to raise private donations to help fund the medical school (Patton, Modesto Bee, 1/16).