In August 2007, the first class of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UM) medical students will begin the four-year undergraduate medical education program at the regional medical campus at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) The authors describe how UM and FAU were able to make a successful case to state policymakers for a regional medical campus as a cost-effective approach to expanding undergraduate and graduate medical education opportunities in southeast Florida The authors discuss what motivated UM and FAU to partner to create a regional medical campus, and they describe the challenges that have been encountered since 2004, particularly those relating to delivering a comparable two-year program on two campuses using distance-learning technologies. The opportunities that have resulted from expansion of the regional campus from two to four years are also described, including the development of a new and innovative four-year curriculum emphasizing comprehensive chronic disease management and case-based and patient-centered education using collaborative, small-group student learning communities. UM medical students thus have a choice between two educational tracks. The authors conclude that no significant impediments have resulted from the Florida collaboration between a public and a private university and that the regional medical campus model can serve as a viable option for other states and institutions attempting to expand medical school enrollment and meet physician workforce needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
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