Friday, August 13, 2010

UC-Merced Med School: UC Budget Problems Not a Concern?

Richard III might have trouble getting a horse at UC-Davis thanks to UC budget woes - see the previous post. But if he fell off one at UC-Merced, he could get his injuries cared for at the new med school if grand plans continue to go forward.

From the Merced Sun-Star:

Friday, Aug. 13, 2010

Lawmakers support UC Merced med school Assembly members recognize need for doctors in Central Valley.

By JAMIE OPPENHEIM SACRAMENTO -- Members of the Valley Coalition for UC Merced Medical School and other UC Merced officials made the case for the need for a medical school in the Central Valley on Thursday to a handful of state assembly members at the school's 13th annual hearing at the state Capitol. But Assembly members didn't need any convincing.

"You're doing the right thing, this is critical for the state of California," said Assemblyman Joe Coto (D-San Jose).
Coto said he supports the creation of the medical school not only because it would boost the economy in the Central Valley, but it would also increase the number of doctors serving the state. UC Merced Medical School proponents pointed out that by 2015 the state will have a shortage of 17,000 physicians. Once created, the UC Merced Medical School would serve nine counties in the San Joaquin Valley, a historically underserved area in terms of medical care.

In comparison to the rest of the state, the Central Valley has 31 percent fewer physicians and 51 percent less specialists, UC Merced officials said.
Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani headed Thursday's committee hearing. Other members of the committee in attendance included eight assembly members from around the state. The purpose for the hearing was to inform state legislators of UC Merced's progress in terms of enrollment, curriculum and facility development and planning for a medical school. The target start date for the school is 2015, said Bryn Fornhan, chair of the Valley Coalition for UC Merced Medical School -- a group which began in 2008 with only 150 members and since increased to 1,000 members.

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