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New St. Thomas Medical School (St. Paul, MN)

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Strongbow, May 7, 2007.

  1. Strongbow

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    The following is an email regarding a possible new med school:



    For faculty, staff and students

    Discussions under way regarding feasibility of medical school

    From Father Dennis Dease, president

    I want to bring to the attention of the St. Thomas community an evolving discussion between Allina Hospitals & Clinics and the University of St. Thomas about the feasibility of collaborating in the creation of a new medical school to educate and train primary care physicians for Minnesota.

    Allina and St. Thomas have been discussing for several months the challenges facing the health care industry, including the looming physician workforce shortage. Those discussions ultimately converged around the concept of a new model for a medical school, and Allina is interested in further exploring a partnership with St. Thomas.

    I will discuss this issue at the annual meeting of the St. Thomas faculty at noon tomorrow (Tuesday) in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium.

    On Thursday, the Board of Trustees at St. Thomas will have its first discussion regarding these issues and will decide whether to authorize a feasibility study with Allina. The executive committee of the Allina board also will discuss a feasibility study at its meeting on Wednesday.

    Allina, one of the region’s largest and most-respected health care providers, believes the medical schools at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic are not producing enough primary care physicians to meet the growing demand. Allina also believes the situation will grow more acute because of population growth in this region and the increasing number of retirees who will need health care in the years ahead.

    A St. Thomas-Allina collaboration in the establishment of a new medical school would be unique in Minnesota and could be similar in some respects to the medical school partnership between Cleveland Clinics and Case Western Reserve University.

    The school would be small, with up to 40 students in the first year’s class, and education and training would occur at Allina facilities, utilizing Allina physicians and other personnel. St. Thomas would not have to construct a new building on one of its campuses or find space in an existing campus building for this project, as we have done for every other new educational program that we have established. The medical school would be another option for St. Thomas pre-med students who want to pursue a medical career.

    I want to emphasize here that St. Thomas has no interest in or intention of competing with the University of Minnesota in providing medical education. Allina has been clear, as well, that it greatly values its relationship with the University of Minnesota and that it believes any new medical school would complement – not compete with – what the university offers.

    Allina would bring much strength to a collaboration. A not-for-profit system, Allina owns and operates 11 hospitals, 65 clinics, hospice services, pharmacies and emergency medical transportation services in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, with more than 2.5 million patient visits a year. For more information about Allina, see www.alina.com.

    Allina is impressed with St. Thomas’ academic strengths in health care education, including basic science and pre-med programs at the undergraduate level and three programs in our Opus College of Business – a Health Care MBA; the Center for Health and Medical Affairs, which offers continuing education programs for medical professionals; and the National Institute of Health Policy, which offers a neutral forum for stakeholder collaborations on health care policy issues.

    Many, many questions remain about the project, including what a business plan would look like and how much money might need to be raised. Those are the kinds of questions that would best be answered in a feasibility study that St. Thomas and Allina would conduct jointly.

    In the meantime, I welcome your comments.
     
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  3. blackadder

    blackadder my old office view
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    as a golden gopher born and raised all i can say is: oh ****!

    this would be great. with just the U (tc/umd) and Mayo, Minnesota is a tough nut to crack for in-state applicants (granted it's no cali...but it ain't easy).

    The one reservation I do have is that it seems like St. Thomas is opening up professional programs awfully quickly...they just opened up a law school like 4 or 5 years ago.

    But that aside...would I go there in a heartbeat in order to stay in MN?

    **** yeah!
     
  4. Oculus Sinistra

    Oculus Sinistra Finish it.
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    Well, now is a great time for universities to say, "we're going to have a primary care shortage!" and get approved for medical schools.

    Of course if they truly wanted to train more primary care physicians, they'd look at residencies, not medical schools.
     
  5. govikings10

    govikings10 Senior Member
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    I like the idea, except for being a tommie :hardy: But seriously, how would a adding a small, private medical school significantly help increase the number of primary care docs. Private = more expensive = more likely to specialize because of indebtedness.
     
  6. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Membership Revoked
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    All you guys need now is a Division I football team and you'll be a real state!

    /On Wisconsin
     
  7. blackadder

    blackadder my old office view
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    cute. another badger just aching for attention. relax my son, and go stroke your holstein.

    i also agree with the above poster that 40 new docs a year ain't huge but it's better than nothing...especially if, as the letter indicates, no/minimal new infrastructure would be needed.
     
  8. ericL

    ericL Member
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    It does make one wonder why they feel the need to open a med school, 4yrs after opening their law school.... It seems they are a bit misguided if they assume graduating forty students will produce forty primary care docs. I would imagine only a handful would end up as primary care physicians in MN....
    On the plus side, if they operate it as they did their law school, the first couple classes could be eligible for free tution. Although they did thjis in their law school because it wasn't fully accredited-I don't think this would fly for a med school.
     
  9. Ersatzious

    Ersatzious Mayo MSTP MS1
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    The University of Minnesota's Duluth program has a solid reputation for producing primary care physicians. Provided that the Duluth campus could handle what would amount to doubling its student body (currently 55 per class), expanding this well-established program would be ultimately cheaper and more productive than creating a new medical school.
     
  10. UMP

    UMP Recovered Under-Achiever
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    wow... that makes 20 or so new schools in planning. Where is that thread that was keeping track of all of them?
     
  11. UMP

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  12. 10Blade

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    wrong thread
     
  13. enlightenedhick

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    You obviously have never visited this backwater school. That place is an afterthought, even though it's 30+ years old! Met many a student from UMD-Duluth SOM and they all say, "I'm not sure what I was paying for there."

    UMn better get their *#($ together.
     
  14. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central
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    UST is a joke. I went to Macalester and we all trekked there to get easy As to boost our GPAs, including myself....got an A in gen. chem. after only going to class to take the exams. I fear what their "medical school" would be like. Open book Step 1?
     
  15. maestro1625

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    well not every med school can be attached to Harvard...

    ...and there are certainly ****tier places that have talked about opening med schools (cough*Regents*cough)...
     
  16. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central
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    Yeah, but they just attract a certain type of people...I'm sure the med students would be smarter than the average undergrad there, but the whole white frat/sorority upper middle class vibe they give off always rubbed me the wrong way. I dated someone who was the ONLY black person at that school in the late 90s, I thought it was pretty crazy - the school is not THAT small! I know MN is not a particularly diverse state, but Hamline and Macalester (dunno much about St. Kate's or Augsburg, but I took 2 classes at Hamline, too) somehow manage to have a fairly diverse student population, and Hamline in particular does a decent job of reflecting the regional ethnic makeup, with a good # of Hmong and Somali students. So it must be at least a passive policy on UST's side to foster this type of segregated atmosphere.
     
  17. maestro1625

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    Well I'm sure just as many can get rubbed the wrong way by the Macalester "spoiled protest-happy rich kids with liberal guilt seeping from their skin" attitude too.. :p

    and once you school gets an all-white reputation, it's hard to break no matter how hard you try and recruit. My school would do toss scholarship money at black, hispanic, and asian kids all they wanted, but they still couldn't get them to come to a school where they'd be a very very small minority.
     
  18. kanelope

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    I personally don't think this is going to happen. I'm surprised no one has jumped on the idea that maybe Allina is looking for a way to get more primary care docs in their system.....
     
  19. Womialas

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    I work for Allina and have it on good opinion that this is going to happen within the next two years. My boss even told me that if I don't get in this year, I should wait to reapply as a MN resident for this school... would be cool to get in on the ground floor. Think of all the attention you'd get as an M1 with no students above you?

    The fact is that with all the hospitals and clinics in the Allina system, the U of M just simply isn't providing enough students/doctors for this area.
     

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