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West Penn Allegheny Health System Expands Relationship with Temple University School of Medicine

The Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM) and West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) have announced that they are collaborating to establish a new four-year medical school campus on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

West Penn Allegheny Health System and Temple University are collaborating to start a four year medical school in Pittsburgh. Watch this report from KDKA-TV.

West Penn Allegheny Health System and Temple University are collaborating to start a four year medical school in Pittsburgh. Watch this report from KDKA-TV.

The Temple University School of Medicine at West Penn Allegheny Health System will enable WPAHS and TUSM to address the critical shortage of physicians in Western Pennsylvania by educating and retaining highly trained doctors to serve the local community for many years to come.

Based in Philadelphia, TUSM is one of seven schools of medicine in Pennsylvania conferring the doctor of medicine (MD) degree. Temple is ranked among the top 50 medical schools nationwide for research and is nationally renowned for its clinical training, academic excellence and commitment to community service.

WPAHS currently serves as a clinical campus of TUSM for third- and fourth-year medical students. The expanded relationship will enable WPAHS to provide all four years of undergraduate medical education to TUSM students, in addition to the large number of residency and fellowship (graduate medical education) programs currently offered at WPAHS.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for West Penn Allegheny Health System and the people of Western Pennsylvania,” said Christopher T. Olivia, MD, WPAHS president and CEO. “Temple University School of Medicine has been an excellent partner of our System for more than a decade, and the expansion of our relationship into a four-year medical school program will greatly advance our collective ability not only to educate more physicians but also to meet the future healthcare needs of patients and our communities through enhanced medical research opportunities.

“We believe this new program will ultimately improve the scope and quality of healthcare in our region. One of our primary goals is to recruit the highly talented students who live in Pennsylvania, provide them with excellent medical training and keep them here.

”Thirty students will be accepted in the first class of the new medical school program, scheduled to begin in 2013. Four Allegheny Center, located on the North Side near Allegheny General Hospital, will serve as the classroom setting for the school, while AGH will provide the primary clinical education environment. Housing classrooms and other training facilities in an existing structure helps WPAHS keep the costs of establishing the new TUSM campus to a minimum. The System, however, does plan to renovate areas of the building to accommodate the school, including construction of state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories with videoconferencing capabilities, investment in advanced simulation training technology and the refurbishing of some common student areas.

“West Penn Allegheny has a longstanding tradition of excellence in medical education,” said Elliot Goldberg, MD, Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Medicine, TUSM, and Vice President for Undergraduate Medical Education, WPAHS. “From our Allegheny-Singer Research Institute to our advanced clinical settings, numerous health sciences libraries and other academic resources found across the Health System, West Penn Allegheny has been at the forefront of medical education and research for many years and through those exemplary programs has provided hundreds of doctors and nurses with invaluable training and experience.

“Our new medical school campus will further improve that educational experience and go a long way in ensuring we continue the fine tradition in medical education that we have established.”

Dr. Goldberg said some additional faculty members also are expected to be hired to accommodate the expanded medical education program, joining a current faculty that includes scientists, clinical educators and existing WPAHS medical staff.In addition to attracting new students, the new medical school campus is expected to provide new job opportunities and drive growth for businesses on the North Side.

WPAHS has provided medical education for more than 100 years. Since June 2000, WPAHS has provided a clinical setting for third-year and fourth-year Temple University School of Medicine medical students. In addition, Allegheny General Hospital has been a campus of Drexel College of Medicine and its predecessor the Medical College of Pennsylvania/ Hahnemann University since 1987, serving as a clinical site for third- and forth-year medical students. This program will be phased out over the next three years.