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Napolitano: Accreditation marks key step

March 28, 2007

The University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix , in Partnership with Arizona State University, has received accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education for its new four-year program in downtown Phoenix.

The school opened its doors in October, and the initial 24 first-year medical students are scheduled to begin classes in July. More than 650 students have been interviewed to fill the 134 slots (110 in Tucson and 24 in Phoenix ).

The LCME is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to medical degrees in the United States and Canada . It is sponsored by the American Association of Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association.

“The success of the partnership between ASU and the University of Arizona is critically important for both the universities and the state,” says ASU President Michael Crow. “We are pleased to have crossed the important threshold of accreditation by the LCME.”

“This is an important step toward achieving our goals with the medical school and Phoenix Biomedical Campus,” adds Gov. Janet Napolitano. “As the campus continues to develop, we will be able to better meet the health care needs of Arizona 's growing population. The unprecedented partnership among the two universities and their partners is leading the way to an institution of incredible quality and efficiency.”

The accreditation approves the College of Medicine 's plan for the new medical school program as part of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. The LCME focuses on the college from a student's point of view, assuring that it meets national standards of educational quality. In 2006, the University of Arizona College of Medicine's Tucson campus was re-accredited for another eight years. There are 125 accredited programs nationwide.

The letter says, in part, “Accreditation is awarded to the program of medical education based on a judgment of appropriate balance between student enrollment and total resources of the institution, including faculty, physical facilities, and the operating budget.”

“This is the green light we have been waiting for to move forward on this great effort that will benefit all Arizonans,” says Robert Bulla, president of the Arizona Board of Regents.

“This is an important step to the realization of the four-year program of the College of Medicine and its place in Arizona to produce the physicians needed in our growing state,” says David Young, senior vice president of academic affairs for ASU. “We have worked closely together and have benefited from each others' efforts and knowledge in creating this partnership.”

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