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December 3, 2008

How a UC Merced school of medicine would differ from traditional urban medical schools

1. Many traditional schools own or operate large urban teaching hospitals where medical students receive clinical training. The UC Merced School of Medicine plans to use existing hospitals and health clinics in the San Joaquin Valley, significantly reducing start-up costs.

2.The traditional medical school model is often geared toward specialization, reflected in its faculty, curriculum and clinical training. Besides educating specialists, UC Merced plans to put more emphasis on primary care and the practice of rural medicine, hoping graduates will remain in the Valley to help meet its health care needs.

3. A number of medical schools in California and nationally draw students from across the country. UC Merced hopes to draw a large share of its students from the valley, and plans to work with local school districts to enlarge the potential student pool and increase its diversity.

4. Some medical schools have large faculties flush with experts in sub-specialties. UC Merced hopes to reduce costs and complement its own faculty by having experts from other UC medical schools rotate through its program and teach classes long distance using new technologies.

— Deborah Schoch

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