At a time when budgets are tight and decisions are hard, University of Arizona President Eugene Sander’s Op Ed in The Arizona Republic/AZ Central lays out the benefits of continuing to invest in our future and the U of A College of Medicine-Phoenix.
Sander: Legislature should invest in UA medical program
by Eugene G. Sander – Feb. 17, 2012 06:49 PM
My Turn. via AZCentral
In response to the state’s critical physician shortage, the University of Arizona expanded its medical school to Phoenix in 2006. Until then, Phoenix was the largest city in the United States without an M.D. degree-granting medical school and associated residency program.
Today, there is tremendous momentum at the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix.
More than 190 students are currently training with many of the nation’s leaders in academic medicine. They have excelled on national exams, provided free health services to local and rural communities and have mostly chosen to stay in Arizona after graduation.
These students are being trained to be physicians of the future, excel in patient care and translate advances made in the lab to care at the bedside.
Professors and researchers are working to find solutions to the complex health issues of Greater Phoenix and the state while advancing research into devastating diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and more.
The UA College of Medicine-Phoenix and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus are quickly becoming the hub for biosciences in the Valley. The college and its partners have the opportunity to create a world-class academic health center.
The college has entered into clinical affiliations with the leading hospitals in the Valley, including Maricopa Integrated Health System, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Banner Health and others.
The economic impact of the campus is conservatively estimated to be at least $2.5 billion annually.
Over the next several years, the university plans to enroll 120 new medical students annually, more than doubling the size of the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix’s student population. A full or rapid expansion will not be possible without state support to operate a medical school with more students and faculty.
Thus far, no new dollars have been allocated to the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix in the proposed FY2013 budget.
When the expansion is complete, the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix campus is expected to create as many as 24,000 direct and indirect high-wage jobs for the state and bring hundreds of millions of dollars in federal research funding and grant support to Arizona.
More graduates would allow Arizona to address its critical need for more physicians in shortage areas such as primary care and certain sub-specialties.
With two fully developed UA Colleges of Medicine, the state of Arizona has an opportunity to become a national leader in healthcare transformation and delivery, while also dramatically improving how it addresses the healthcare needs of its citizens. (Read More at AZCentral.)