Florida International University Unveils Plan for New Medical School

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MIAMI

Florida International University presented plans in early July for a medical school on its campus, saying the facility is necessary to help alleviate a shortage of physicians.

FIU President Modesto Maidique said a formal proposal has been presented to the Board of Governors, who must approve what could become the state's fourth public medical school. The plan also needs legislative approval.

Maidique also announced a $10 million gift for the school, which, with matching private and state funds could become $40 million if the school is approved.

FIU officials cited statistics that reflect a dearth of doctors nationwide, and said the planned school could alleviate the problem in Florida. About 85 percent of all FIU graduates remain in Florida after finishing their degree, and 80 percent remain in South Florida.

Also, with a large pool of applicants expected from multicultural Miami-Dade County, the school will be training doctors who can more easily cater to minorities, said Provost Mark Rosenberg.

"We can contribute a diversity of doctors, homegrown doctors that understand the issues of this community," Maidique said.

Florida ranks 45th in the nation in number of medical residents, or physicians in training. The state's 17 medical residents per 100,000 people is well below the national average of 37 residents per 100,000 people.

The Graduate Medical Education Committee has estimated Florida needs an additional 2,000 residency positions over the next five years to approach the national average. …