UC Riverside receives go-ahead to enroll students in new medical school

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More than four years after receiving initial approval by the UC Board of Regents, UC Riverside has gained preliminary accreditation to establish a full medical school, officials announced Tuesday.

With approval from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, a national committee which accredits MD degree programs in Canada and the United States, the campus expects to open applications “immediately” and enroll students beginning in August 2013, according to a statement released by the campus Tuesday. The accreditation approval signifies the next step in a lengthy and delayed process to recruit students for the school’s first class.

“Working together, the community and the UCR campus simply persevered because expanding access to healthcare is one of the most pressing issues for Inland Southern California,” said G. Richard Olds, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the medical school at UC Riverside, in the statement. “This milestone enables us to open the doors of the medical school and begin expanding and diversifying our region’s physician workforce.”

The announcement marks the success of the campus’ second attempt to gain accreditation from the committee. The school was first expected to open this fall, but in 2011, the committee withheld accreditation due to concerns about limited state funding. UC Riverside administrators submitted a rare second proposal in April after securing from nonstate sources alternative funding worth about $10 million per year for a decade.

For more than 30 years, UC Riverside has partnered with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, allowing students to complete the first two years of medical school at UC Riverside before transferring to UCLA to finish their degree. With the establishment of the UC Riverside School of Medicine, students will be able to complete all four years of their medical education at the Riverside campus.

Amruta Trivedi is the assistant university news editor. Contact her at [email protected]