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Kaiser Permanente to open Southern California med school in 2019



December 22, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: Medical School Physician Workforce Professional Development & Education 

Kaiser Permanente announced last week plans to open a medical school in Southern California in 2019. Kaiser officials said the new school would include hands-on experience for students in clinics and hospitals, with a focus on primary care, the use of new technologies and physicians’ role as part of a care-giving team. The goal is to enroll its first class of 48 students in 2019.


Aware that shifts in the U.S. population have created more diverse communities, Kaiser says it will help its medical students acquire greater cultural competency and understanding to meet these patients' needs. The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine will teach advanced skills in decision-making, teamwork, the use of technology, evidenced-based medicine and communication tailored to specific populations.


“Opening a medical school and influencing physician education is based on our belief that the new models of care mean we must reimagine how physicians are trained,” said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. “Training a new generation of physicians to deliver on the promise of health and health care demonstrates our belief that our model of care is best for the current and future diverse populations in this country.”


The creation of a new medical school will also advance work the organization already does in physician education — with more than 600 new physicians currently completing their residency programs at Kaiser Permanente hospitalsk, and several thousand more from 50 affiliated programs who complete a portion of their training at Kaiser Permanente each year.


“The California Medical Association applauds the efforts of Kaiser Permanente in their announcement of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, opening in 2019,” said Dustin Corcoran, CEO of the California Medical Association (CMA). “CMA is always striving to increase the physician population to ensure patients are getting high-quality care in coordinated teams, but to do that we much first ensure that there are medical students and graduated residents that are being trained to provide that care. The announcement of an additional medical school here in California translates directly into more physicians on the ground to help treat the patients that need it most.”


The planning, design and implementation of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine will be led by a multidisciplinary team of physician, health plan and operational leaders. Nationally recognized care quality leader, Christine K. Cassel, M.D., will be joining the team responsible for designing this innovative new approach to training the physicians of tomorrow. Recruitment for the founding dean will begin in the coming year.


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