January a pivotal month for medical shool's prognosis

December 6, 2008 

A report due in January from three nationally known medical consultants will help determine if a medical school will be developed anytime soon at the Merced campus of the University of California.

One of those leaders is Charles E. Young, who spent 29 years as chancellor of the University of California at Los Angeles, home of the UC system's largest medical school. All three have led or worked at large urban medical schools or teaching hospitals, and two are graduates of Harvard Medical School.

The recommendations from the Washington Advisory Group, a consulting firm, will guide the next steps in planning the San Joaquin Valley's first medical school, UC officials said Friday.

Key findings of the report will be made public, said Brandy Ramos Nikaido, spokeswoman for UC Merced medical school planning and for UC San Francisco at Fresno.

Top UC Merced administrators hope to develop a medical school that they say would break from the traditional UC model of medical education and improve health care in the Valley.

It wouldn't incorporate a major new teaching hospital but instead would train students in existing community hospitals and clinics. Rather than focusing mainly on medical specialties, it would teach primary care and rural medicine. A diverse student base would include many students from the Valley.

The so-called "WAG" report is being prepared by the Washington-based consulting firm made up of prominent figures in higher education, science and government and corporate work.

UC Merced commissioned the report from the 16-member Washington, D.C.-based consortium.

The three members preparing the UC Merced report:

Young specializes in advising schools on management and program analysis. After leaving UCLA, he became president of the University of Florida and headed the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Technology. He graduated from UC Riverside and received his master's and doctoral degrees from UCLA.

Dr. Jordan J. (Jordy) Cohen is a consultant on academic medical centers. The former medical school dean of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he spent 12 years as president of the Association of American Medical Colleges. He graduated from Yale University and Harvard University Medical School.

Dr. Mitchell T. Rabkin consults on health care delivery. He was CEO from 2006 to 2008 of Boston-based Caregroup, comprised of Beth Israel and Deaconess hospitals, and earlier was long-time head of Beth Israel. He graduated from Harvard and Harvard Medical School and now teaches at Harvard.

-- Deborah Schoch

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service