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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


New building welcomes Phoenix med school students

Press Photo Courtesy of UA College of Medicine –  Phoenix

A new health sciences education building on the College of Medicine — Phoenix Campus has allowed this year’s class to nearly double its enrollment to 80 students, from last year’s 48.

The 268,000-square foot, $135-million building will house the sixth class of medical students from both the UA and Northern Arizona University. This will provide the facility with better opportunities to train the next team of health physicians, according to Judy Bernas, associate vice president for external relations for the UA in Phoenix.

After two years of construction work, the building opened its doors to students on July 13. From a competitive pool of 850 applicants, the new building will welcome 80 new students.

Ten years ago, the UA decided to expand its College of Medicine to Phoenix to help increase the number of doctors in Arizona and provide more opportunities to students, Bernas added. This new building was possible with the help of a partnership with the City of Phoenix, she said.

“For the UA, this building really signifies the university’s presence in Phoenix and reinforces its state-wide presence,” she said.

The building will be used by a number of colleges, including the College of Medicine – Phoenix, the UA College of Pharmacy and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, according to Al Bravo, associate director of public affairs of UA College of Medicine — Phoenix.

The college will also expand its physical therapy program from Flagstaff to Phoenix and start a new physician’s assistant program, Bravo added.

With the new building, the UA hopes to train more health professionals who will stay in Arizona, Bernas said.

“We have a very severe shortage of physicians in Arizona so the opportunity to bring more students is really important,” Bernas added.

The College of Medicine in Tucson will host about 110 incoming students.

Students can apply to the campuses in both Phoenix and Tucson to increase their chances of acceptance, but a different application is required for each college, Bernas said, adding that the new college will provide the same basic curriculum as the college in Tucson.

Both campuses will be working on a collaborative effort to create a professional environment and more benefits for future physicians, including more programs, bigger classrooms, new equipment and a new library, said Rebecca Fega, second-year medical student at the UA College of Medicine — Phoenix.

“We are all excited and enthusiastic about our growth on campus,” Fega said. “It’s a positive step in the right direction toward collaboratively training health care professionals. It’s a monumental building and something that we are all very proud of.”

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