School of Medicine prepares for next fall

By on October 16, 2012

With preliminary accreditation granted for the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, Dr. Bruce Koeppen, Dean of the School of Medicine, announced: “[w]e’re open for business.”

“What we are building here on the North Haven campus will be absolute state-of-the-art,” Koeppen said.

Faculty and facilities at the School of Medicine will foster an inter-professional education for all health science disciplines, in which students from the health science and nursing schools can collaborate with medical students to gain real-life experience working as health care teams, Koeppen said.

Junior health science major Domingo Perez plans to apply to the School of Medicine in his senior year and benefit from this interdisciplinary program.

“That would be really beneficial,” Perez said. “It’s kind of like a full-circle system, more of a hospital simulation, which is basically as close as you can get to in-field training without being in the field.”

Students will have the opportunity to work in four collaborative classrooms in the new building, according to Koeppen. Each classroom was designed to accommodate four groups of eight students, who can share resources electronically. Students will have access to learning materials in an entirely paperless curriculum, including electronically administered exams.

“It’s probably the nicest teaching space I’ve ever seen in any medical school,” Koeppen said.

Prospective students can preview the prototype of one of the classroom’s tables, located in the Fred Tarka Conference Room in the Arnold Bernhard Library.

For junior health science major Becky Paugh, the addition of the School of Medicine at Quinnipiac comes at a pivotal time in her college career, as she will soon be making decisions regarding graduate school.

Paugh is planning to apply to graduate school at Quinnipiac, but she is also considering applying to schools in California, where she can benefit from in-state residency tuition if she lives with her brother.

The news of the School of Medicine’s interdisciplinary interactions and real-life hospital environment, however, has Paugh reassessing a move to California for graduate school.

“I think that’s kind of rare,” she said. “That makes me excited to go here.”

The School of Medicine is planning to offer a dual program for future freshmen interested in studying medicine, in which students who apply to Quinnipiac would simultaneously apply and be interviewed for the School of Medicine, according to Koeppen. This would offer them a guaranteed position in the graduate school upon maintaining a certain GPA and completing their undergraduate work and clinical hours.

Implementation of this type of acceptance program could potentially sway the opinions of prospective students in Quinnipiac’s favor.

A senior in the Early Assurance program for Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Albany Medical College, Katie Infantino, said if Quinnipiac offers a double acceptance like hers, it will increase the appeal for prospective students.

“I was accepted to Quinnipiac as a freshman, but chose ACP primarily because of its dual program,” Infantino said. “But if Quinnipiac had the School of Medicine then, with that kind of program, I definitely would have considered going there more.”

There are also plans to develop a Post-Baccalaureate program, Koeppen said. With this, a student with a bachelor’s degree of any kind can take a one-year program at Quinnipiac that would fulfill all of his or her pre-requisites for medical school. Students who need to improve their credentials before being accepted into medical school would also be able to take advantage of this opportunity.

The School of Medicine is hosting several informational seminar sessions for prospective students. Admissions is also meeting with pre-health advisors from Connecticut, New York and the Atlanta region to inform them about the School of Medicine.

“We’re trying to get the word out as quickly and broadly as we can,” Koeppen said.

Koeppen plans to meet with the Student Government Association at its general board meeting today at 4:15 p.m. to share updates and pictures of the School of Medicine’s progress. Anyone with interest in the topic is encouraged to attend.

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