New medical school opens in Camden, NJ

July 24, 2012 5:53:28 PM PDT
Tuesday's ribbon-cutting at the new Cooper Medical School of Rowan University was the culmination of more than three years of work.

The $139 million facility is a joint effort of Camden's Cooper Medical Center and Glassboro's Rowan University. And it comes at time when a high percentage of New Jersey is experiencing a doctor shortage, as many of the state's doctors are nearing retirement.

"The idea is to create a situation where the best and the brightest who are going to leave the state to seek education, to stay here and get the best education at an affordable price and to stay here and become a productive citizen," said Rowan University President Dr. Ali Houshmand.

New Jersey's first new medical school in 35 years will bring together the latest high-tech medical and educational equipment, like touch-screens in the cadaver lab, and an emphasis on direct care for patients and Camden residents.

"They will have a hands-on connection with our residents and they will also move to expand access to health care with a population that really needs it," said Camden Mayor Dana Redd.

"I think it's a wonderful day for Camden. And it's exciting and certainly historical," said Camden resident Betty Young.

Among the school's other innovations: students will spend just six hours a week in lectures. And they'll begin seeing patients as early as three weeks into their first terms.

They'll then be able to follow some of those same patients throughout their years in school.

What you won't find here -- an extensive library, as most of the textbooks will be electronic.

"We've emphasized to our course instructors to try to use those electronic resources whenever and wherever possible to try to avoid the added cost of having to buy another book," said Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Dr. Michael Goldberg.

The first 50 future doctors begin classes here August 13th and after that each class will have 100 students. The hope is that many of them will stay in South Jersey to practice.


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