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Indiana University School of Medicine – Lafayette expanding program, enrollment

October 25, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Indiana University School of Medicine – Lafayette, on the campus of Purdue University, announced Thursday, October 25, that it is expanding its program of study from two years to four years and it will increase its student enrollment.

“We now have a complete program for third-year students here in the Lafayette-West Lafayette community, receiving their formal training in all medical disciplines required in the third year,” said Gordon Coppoc, associate dean and director of the Indiana University School of Medicine – Lafayette. “It’s a giant milestone, and one we’ve been eager to share.”

This year, the school will host 39 third-year students, eight at a time, who will rotate through various specialties in local hospitals and physicians’ offices, Coppoc said.

“Next year, we will add a fourth year of medical education here, making Indiana University School of Medicine – Lafayette a four-year medical program, operating within the framework of the Indiana University School of Medicine Statewide System,” he said. “Students will be able to begin and complete all four years of their medical studies right here in this wonderful community.”

Jerrod Day, one of the third-year medical students, said, “While first- and second-year students spend a lot of time in classrooms, labs and with their textbooks, the clerkship years take us into real-world medical settings.”

Third-year students complete eight-week rotations at hospitals and physicians’ offices. “We work alongside physicians and surgeons, seeing patients, continuing our studies—and taking exams, of course,” Day said. “We know that the local facilities and physicians here are first rate.”

Enrollment, too, is growing, Coppoc said, from today’s 16 students in each of the first and second years to 24 in each year in 2014, a 50-percent increase in class size. Once the school is in the new facility, it will have the capacity to increase enrollment to 32 students in each of the first and second years of study, double today’s.

“Current plans are to have eight students per year doing clerkships in each of the third and fourth years of their education,” Coppoc said.

The announcement was made in its current facilities in Lynn Hall on the Purdue University campus in a news conference hosted by Greater Lafayette Commerce.

An earlier announcement gave details on the school’s pending move to Lyles-Porter Hall, now under construction on the Purdue University campus, where it will occupy almost 13,000 square feet, about triple today’s space. The move is slated for fall 2014.

Indiana University Health Arnett Hospital and Franciscan St. Elizabeth Hospitals, as well as other clinical practice groups associated with these hospitals, are hosting students.

“The list of positives in our partnership is long,” said Akram Al-Makki, M.D., director of medical education at IU Health Arnett.

“For the medical students, the greatest benefit is the one-on-one work with our physicians, giving them a learning experience that is both professional and personal,” he said. “As for IU Health Arnett, through this relationship we keep up-to-date with the best teaching and learning methods. We deeply value team-based healthcare, which is enhanced through our collaboration with the IU School of Medicine.

“This also opens the door to more advance research opportunities, and our work will be augmented by ongoing feedback and evaluations,” Al-Makki said. “The ultimate benefactors of all this, of course, are our patients that we serve.”

Ed Langston M.D., director of medical education for Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health, said, “While the challenges are great by the third year of medical school, we know the satisfaction of meeting those challenges is even greater. This is a time when students can make a difference in a person’s life. And they do.

“Working alongside our physicians, they learn ‘medicine,’” Langston said. “They also learn practical lessons, patience, compassion and a countenance of caring, along with other skill sets of the profession they are just now entering.”

The community benefits throughout the healthcare arena and well beyond, said Doug Mansfield, board chair of Greater Lafayette Commerce.

“How great to be able to say, ‘IU School of Medicine – Lafayette offers a four-year program right here.’ It adds to our visibility and our recognition that we are a vital, growing community and regional medical hub,” Mansfield said.

“It enhances our economy,” he said. “And, it will attract new physicians to our area, since studies show that medical students often choose to stay in the city where they trained.”

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About the Indiana University School of Medicine – Lafayette

Currently operating in Lynn Hall on the Purdue University campus, the Indiana University School of Medicine – Lafayette began local operations with a pilot first-year program in 1968.

The State Legislature formally created the regional medical system in 1971. Lindley Wagner M.D., a local physician, was the founding director. Wagner recruited Purdue University faculty members and local, practicing physicians to teach.

Second-year curriculum was added in 1980.

As part of the expansion of the IU School of Medicine, the local campus added third-year students in 2012. The fourth year program will begin in 2013.

The Indiana University School of Medicine’s mission is to advance health in the State of Indiana and beyond by promoting innovation and excellence in education, research and patient care. 

About Greater Lafayette Commerce

Headquartered at 337 Columbia St. in Lafayette, Greater Lafayette Commerce (www.greaterlafayettecommerce.com), whose roots go back more than 85 years, is a nonprofit membership organization supported by local businesses, industries and governments. Its mission is to advance economic and community prosperity for a superior quality of life.

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