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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Med school must accept out-of-state students

    It’s been quite a year for biosciences at the UA.

    We’ve seen the expansion of the UA Health Sciences Center to Phoenix, the construction of the new BIO5 building and Medical Research building, a new chemical sciences building and exciting collaborative work in departments all over campus.

    And things are bound to only get more exciting as time goes on. Why? The UA is acting according to the adage, “”If you want to be incrementally better, be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better, be cooperative.””

    We want to be exponentially better. And we’re cooperating our hearts out.

    The BIO5 Institute is revolutionarily based on the importance of cooperation between disciplines. Researchers work together in subject-based labs, rather than labs directed by a single professor. The Medical Research building next door provides lab space for 100 undergraduates, 80 graduate students and 60 post-doctoral students. It’s all about collaboration to further our knowledge in biosciences.

    We’re seeing a move in the same direction in the College of Medicine: The new Phoenix campus is a collaborative effort between faculty from the UA and faculty from ASU.

    And now there’s a new opportunity to enhance collaboration that will not only benefit the UA and Arizona residents, but aspiring physicians around the nation.

    The College of Medicine is considering accepting out-of-state students. For the sake of our school and state, they should act now and consider non-Arizona applications.

    In the past, the UA’s medical school has not accepted out-of-state students because it was viewed as contrary to the school’s mission of training Arizona residents in medical education.

    But the policy is starting to hurt Arizona students. This year, there were 599 applicants to the College of Medicine; 134 students can presently be accommodated – 110 at the College of Medicine at the Tucson campus and 24 at the Phoenix campus. That means that 22.4 percent of students who applied will end up attending. Such a high acceptance rate brings down our medical school’s rankings. (By way of comparison, the highest acceptance rate among the 40 top medical schools in the research category was 13.3 percent this year.) And if out-of-state applications are not accepted, this percentage will only increase as the Phoenix campus can accommodate more students – eventually bringing down the average quality of applicants.

    Though detractors claim that accepting out-of-state students would make it more difficult for the College of Medicine to best serve Arizona students, what would really best serve Arizona students is a well-ranked school able to take in more funding. In addition, collaborating with top students from around the country will raise the bar for all students enrolled at the medical school.

    Arizona gets nothing but benefits: We collaborate with the most well-prepared students around the country at our medical school; we increase our rankings and are able to get increased funding because of it.

    The College of Medicine would be remiss not to take this opportunity to improve the medical school – and through it, Arizona’s role as a biotechnology hub.

    For the good of our school and state, open the UA College of Medicine to out-of-state applicants.

    Opinions Board

    Editorials 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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