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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Medical school expansion deserves funding

    At last week’s Arizona Board of Regents meeting, the expansion of UA’s College of Medicine to Phoenix was the topic of the day. UA officials plan on asking the state for $13 million more to be spent on the expansion and greater development of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus – and let’s hope, for the sake of our university and for Arizona’s future – that the state complies.

    Thirteen million dollars is certainly a big number. However, the promise that the Phoenix Biomedical Campus offers the state is bigger.

    Arizona’s shortage of doctors and scientists is no secret. However, our state officials are working hard to make this dearth a thing of the past, creating new scientific and technology initiatives to keep the medically and scientifically minded in-state. Through development of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, state and UA officials hope to make Arizona recognized nationally as a science powerhouse.

    The expansion of UA’s College of Medicine to Phoenix will be joined by expansions of the colleges of nursing, pharmacy and public health, as well as partnerships with Arizona State University and other organizations, creating a biomedical park.

    This facility will be one of the cornerstones of the biotechnology development region that Arizona hopes to create. It holds great promise in attracting talent to the state – and keeping it here. Moreover, it offers great promise for the health of Arizona’s future residents. As Arizona grows, it will require a larger force of trained and excellent physicians and medical professionals to keep its residents healthy.

    Excitement for the project is building as the edifices themselves go up. Attendance was originally expected to be around 150 individuals for the opening ceremonies held next week; slated attendance is now around 650. Arizona’s citizens believe in this project. Let’s make sure it gets fully funded; otherwise, this early excitement will be as big an impact as the biomedical campus can make.

    Increased funding is needed because of already increased demands on the facility. Planners intend on a first class of 24 students, taught by ASU and UA professors, for the facility’s first year in operation. While it was initially expected that numbers would be held at 24 students again for the center’s second class, 64 students will be admitted instead. Expected enrollment at the facility within five years is 150.

    The Phoenix Biomedical Campus presents a solution to both the short-term problem of a medical professional shortage, and to long-term problems like brain drain and lackluster economic development in Arizona.

    State officials recognize the immense promise this facility holds. Let’s hope they fully fund it through approving the project’s needed funding increase.

    Opinions are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Nina Conrad, Lori Foley, Ryan Johnson, Ari Lerner, Nicole Santa Cruz and Matt Stone.

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