By Lyn Riddle  

AUGUST 6, 2010 8:55 a.m. Comments (1)

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Click to see what other schools are seeking accreditation

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine ­– Greenville got the go-ahead  from the boards of the Greenville Hospital System and the University of South Carolina.

The next step for the expansion of the doctor training program will be accreditation by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education.

Michael Amiridis, USC’s provost, said the partnership is good news for state residents because it addresses a critical shortage of doctors and does not require state funding.

“It is innovative, creative,” Amiridis said.

The school will operate on funding from GHS and tuition from USC, which for the upcoming school year is $29,948. The first students will arrive in Greenville in August 2012, Amiridis said. Tuition has increased 9.9 percent in each of the past two years.

GHS will chip in about $3.5 million to $3.7 million a year over 10 years, most of which is to upfit an existing building, GHS chief executive officer Mike Riordan said.

Riordan described it as a historic day, one that has been in the making for decades. Robert Toomey, the founder of the hospital system who died in 2001, wrote a paper about establishing such training in Greenville long ago.

The hospital system began training third and fourth year medical students in 1991. First and second year training will be added once the medical school is accredited.

Already the hospital system spends about $20 million a year on doctor training.

Medical University of South Carolina President Ray Greenberg has questioned the need for an expansion of medical training in the state, noting that MUSC and USC both have increased the number of students they accept in a time when residency programs are not growing.

Amiridis said he would agree with Greenberg if state funds were going to be used in this time of seriously limited state revenue.

“We’ll do it on our own,” Riordan said.

Research shows the nation needs to increase the number of medical students by 30 percent. South Carolina educates about 170 students at MUSC and 85 at USC each year.

From 1980 to 2005, two medical schools were accredited by The Liaison Committee on Medical Education: Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Ga., in 1982 and Florida State in Tallahassee in 2000.

Seven other schools are with the Greenville college at Step 1 in its application to the Liaison Committee. Two in Florida are the only other ones in the Southeast. Seven schools are on the third step, which grants preliminary accreditation.

Riordan said the curriculum is being developed with a focus on getting students into the community and working with other medical disciplines earlier.

“If we just replicate the average curriculum I think we’ve lost an opportunity,” he said.

Amiridis said, “We’ve still got a lot of work in front of us.”

Not the least of which is hiring a dean, who, like the dean at the medical school in Columbia, will report to Amiridis.

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KC  - kc   |2010-08-11 03:15:45
This is a great example of what other major companies need to be focusing on.
Thinking outside of the box and using these hard economical times to be creative
and resourceful; I love to see cooperation on this level!!! Wahoooo!!
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