Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth: Medical Schools Are Expensive

Another Truth: The Folks at St. Thomas Are Not Stupid

Mr. B. has posted previously on the possibility that the University of St. Thomas, in collaboration with Allina, would start a new medical school. They have run the numbers and apparently the outlook is unfavorable.

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

St. Thomas, Allina vote not to open medical school

The University of St. Thomas and Allina Hospitals & Clinics will not move ahead with a plan to open a new medical school "at this time," the pair announced this afternoon.

St. Thomas trustees this morning voted not to move forward with further planning of a medical school. The Allina Board of Directors reached a similar conclusion at its meeting on Monday, the organizations said in a prepared statement.

While a six-month feasibility study reaffirmed the need to train more primary care physicians in new models of care, Allina and St. Thomas have agreed that each organization has higher priorities at this time and should not use existing resources to open a new medical school, they added.

Hospital and St. Thomas leaders said they'll continue to talk and did not rule out future collaboration on a medical school "should sufficient resources become available."

Earlier this year, Allina and St. Thomas announced they were studying the possibility of a new, small medical school focused on training primary care doctors.

From the Star-Tribune:

There was no mention Wednesday of medical school funding when St. Thomas announced with great fanfare the launch of the most ambitious capital campaign in its history and a $60 million gift to the university.

The board of directors at Allina Hospitals and Clinics voted Monday on whether to move forward, but it delayed announcing its decision until the St. Thomas board could act, said officials for both organizations. They declined to comment on the issues debated by either board.

Together, they said in May, they would study the feasibility of a new medical school making use of the St. Thomas campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and Abbott Northwestern, Allina's flagship hospital in Minneapolis. They envisioned a med school of about 40 students per class year committed to practicing primary care, which comprises family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. Over the summer, they conducted the feasibility study.

Neither Allina nor St. Thomas ever put a price tag on the cost of building and operating the schools. But it could cost at least $40 million a year to operate a four-year medical school of 40 students per class year, said Dr. Joseph Scherger, the founding dean of the last new medical school in the country, Florida State University's College of Medicine.

Dave Durenberger, the former U.S. senator who heads the National Institute of Health Policy based at St. Thomas, said he hasn't been included in the medical school talks.

Durenberger said the issue of how to raise a significant amount of money is likely to be the biggest hurdle, rather than any religious considerations.

"This is not like building another law school," he said.

These earlier posts give the back story:

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

University of St. Thomas to Establish New Med School?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

BigU’s MedSchoolDean Comments on St. Thomas/Allina

Feasibility Study for New Medical School

Friday, May 25, 2007

Blanket Email from Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

Kudos and Questions for Proposed Medical School

Friday, June 29, 2007

Needle Stick! The Latex Gloves Come Off...

Apparently Some Duplications are OK

(Children's Hospitals),

But Not Others (Medical Schools)?

Monday, July 9, 2007

On the Explosion of New Medical Schools Nationally and The Possibility of a New One Locally

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Sleeping Giant Awakens and He is Hungry

Friday, August 24, 2007

Another Academic Year at BigU MedSchool

Ciao, Bonzo

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