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Roseman’s medical school starting to take shape

Dr. Renee Coffman, president and co-founder of Roseman University in Henderson, recently spoke to the Henderson Chamber of Commerce on the topic of “Helping Build the Future of Medicine in Southern Nevada.”

She expands on that topic in today’s 5Q interview.

Roseman University was founded in 2001 and has been growing ever since, adding a second campus in Jordan, Utah. Roseman specializes in providing training in dentistry, pharmacy and nursing. It also offers a master of business administration degree.

Q: At the end of last year, Roseman announced plans for an allopathic school of medicine. For most of us, allopathic is not a word that comes up that often. What do you have in mind?

A. There are two educational pathways in the U.S. for an individual to become a licensed physician. One is the osteopathic pathway, in which an individual enters a college of osteopathic medicine and obtains a doctor of osteopathic medicine, or “D.O.” The other is the allopathic pathway, which leads to the attainment of the doctor of medicine degree or “M.D.” Roseman University is developing a medical education program that will lead to its graduates obtaining the “M.D.” degree. So, Roseman’s planned College of Medicine will be an allopathic College of Medicine

Q. Roseman has plans for a medical school. UNLV has plans for a medical school. Are we looking at competitors or complementary parts?

A. Roseman has already achieved several landmarks in our progress toward launching our College of Medicine, including hiring our founding dean, hiring 18 full-time equivalent faculty and staff, acquiring a building with more than enough space to house educational and research components, and have completed the first step in the accreditation process. We do not rely on Nevada taxpayer dollars through legislative appropriations to fund the College of Medicine initiative, so we differ from UNLV in that regard. As a private, not-for-profit University, Roseman offers an alternative to publicly financed health professions education. That being said, we look forward to forging collaborative relationships with all medical schools in the state to improve educational opportunities, to improve access and quality of care and to have a positive economic impact on the state and give back to our community.

Q. One point of concern has been developing enough internship and residency opportunities. How are you addressing that and do we as a community have more work to be done?

A. The development and expansion of internship and residency programs in Nevada is critical not only to the success of all current and planned medical schools, but also to the recruitment and retention of physicians for our state. Roseman is working with community partners who can help us initiate and grow both internships and residencies concurrently with the development of our College of Medicine. There is a lot of work to be done, but I also believe that the will is there to accomplish this task.

Q. It’s been just a year since Roseman merged with the Nevada Cancer Institute Foundation. Can you update us on how things are going at your Summerlin research center?

A. Roseman’s Summerlin campus is an exciting place to be. Not only are our researchers continuing to make groundbreaking discoveries in our core research areas of diabetes and obesity, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, but also the facility will house Roseman’s College of Medicine. Currently, the Summerlin campus is home to 18 full-time equivalent faculty and staff and that number will grow substantially as we plan for a fall 2017 enrollment of our first class of medical students. We certainly invite anyone who is interested to come and visit Roseman’s newest campus to see what’s happening and get a glimpse of our future plans.

Q. The growth at Roseman has been stunning over the past decade. What do you see ahead for Roseman, looking out to 2025?

A. Roseman University will bring the first Academic Health Center to Nevada by 2025. The Academic Health Center designation means that Roseman will not only have a College of Medicine and other educational programs in the health professions, but also a robust research program and an active engagement in the provision of quality health care services both in partnership with other health care organizations and as part of Roseman.

We will look to add new degree programs in the health professions that serve the needs of our community. We will also be involved in basic science, clinical, and translational research that lead to improved treatment modalities and methods to improve health and wellness and we will provide the most up-to-date, highest-quality health care to the patients we serve.

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