Archive for Monday, April 12, 2010

KU to report on medical school expansion efforts

April 12, 2010

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— Kansas University officials on Thursday will give the Board of Regents a report on plans for a four-year campus of the KU School of Medicine at Salina and Wichita.

The expansion is part of a program to increase the number of medical school graduates in the state.

KU School of Medicine-Wichita is already a two-year program.

In recent weeks, the effort to put a medical school in Salina has received several boosts.

The Salina Regional Health Foundation gave $225,000 to help support faculty, curriculum development and prepare classrooms, labs and office space. And Dr. Earl Merkel and his wife, Kathleen, of Russell, donated $75,000 to help develop a curriculum and create an anatomy lab.

In addition, last month KU named Dr. William F. Cathcart-Rake, a Salina-based oncologist, as director of the KU School of Medicine expansion in Salina.

The Salina expansion is geared toward preparing students to practice in rural Kansas. KU officials say they hope to have national accreditation and funding in place to expand the medical school class in 2011 or 2012 to include students recruited to complete all four years of medical school in Salina.

At the KU School of Medicine-Wichita, officials have said they hope to take in first-year students as early as next fall.

Currently at KU, first- and second-year medical students train at the KU School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kan.

In other business before the regents on Thursday, KU is wanting to shorten its academic year from 150 instructional days to 146.

In a memo, regents staff say the reduction will lengthen the time between semesters, which would benefit Kansas University Medical Center medical rotations, short courses, international students and the processing of student probations and dismissals.

It also would more closely equalize minutes for classes that meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with those that meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the memo said.

Under the proposals, both the fall and spring semesters would have 73 days each. If approved, the change would be in effect from fall 2011 through spring 2013.

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