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UCR School of Medicine Receives Go-ahead to Move Forward
Liaison committee on medical education grants “preliminary accreditation” required to open in August 2013
Dr. G. Richard Olds celebrates the School of Medicine’s accreditation with UCR students. Bottom: Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge (left) and county Supervisor John Tavaglione (center) celebrated the medical school annoucement with Dean Olds.
Last week, UCR was notified that its planned medical school has received “preliminary accreditation” from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the national accrediting body for educational programs leading to the M.D. degree in U.S. and Canadian medical schools.
The UCR School of Medicine will immediately begin recruiting students for its charter class entering in August 2013.
“This is a momentous decision for Inland Southern California and for UC Riverside,” said UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White. “This medical school is critically needed to address our region’s physician shortage and stimulate the local economy. Our community has been superb in its support of this project and on so many occasions community members have come together on this transformative and challenging effort. We simply could not have reached this point without that support.”
An informal community and campus celebration of the accreditation milestone was held Monday, Oct. 8.
Dr. G. Richard Olds, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the medical school, said the positive decision by the LCME is a testament to the determination of local elected officials, community supporters, University of California and UCR leadership, donors, and faculty and staff of the medical school to develop a new medical school with a public mission during an economic recession that hit California particularly hard.
“Working together, the community and the UCR campus simply persevered because expanding access to health care is one of the most pressing issues for Inland Southern California,” Olds said. “This milestone enables us to open the doors of the medical school and begin expanding and diversifying our region’s physician workforce.”
This was UCR’s second try to gain accreditation for an independent, four-year medical school. The LCME withheld preliminary accreditation in summer 2011 due to a lack of recurring state funding support for the school. After securing substantial new funding from a variety of non-state funding sources, UCR submitted a second accreditation application in April 2012, which was followed by an accreditation site visit in June.
Preliminary accreditation enables the UCR School of Medicine to accept applications for its first class of M.D. students. It is anticipated that prospective students will begin submitting their applications starting later this month when the UCR School of Medicine is added to the American
Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®), the national central application processing service.
The foundation of the UCR School of Medicine is the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences, which for more than 30 years has partnered with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to train physicians. Students enrolled in the current program complete their first two years of medical school at UCR before transferring to UCLA to complete their final two years and receive their M.D. degrees. The UCR School of Medicine will offer all four years of medical education.
Establishment of the UCR School of Medicine was approved by the University of California Board of Regents in July 2008 and Olds, the founding dean, was appointed in February 2010. Two UCR buildings are completed and ready to accept new medical students and new faculty – the new School of Medicine Research Building and the renovated School of Medicine Education Building.
The medical school also operates a Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences, a long-standing graduate degree program at UCR. Additionally, the medical school will develop a range of residency training programs, the post-M.D. education required for doctors to become board-certified in their specialties.