Preliminary Accreditation Granted to Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Students Now Applying to Join 50-Member Charter Class

Almost two years after officials announced its creation, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University has received preliminary accreditation. The designation was granted by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the nation’s primary accrediting body for MD-granting medical schools.

The granting of preliminary accreditation followed a formal site visit in March by a team of LCME evaluators, who reviewed a variety of materials and met with dozens of Cooper and Rowan faculty and administrators.

The site team noted compliance with all 130 rigorous LCME standards for structure, function, and performance of medical schools. “This is a testament to the hard work, diligence and spirit of collaboration among the nearly 150 Rowan and Cooper faculty and staff who worked to develop the plan for the medical school,” said Paul Katz, MD, Founding Dean of CMSRU. Most importantly, preliminary accreditation means that CMSRU can recruit students, who will begin their four-year medical education in August 2012.

“We’re excited to launch our recruitment efforts,” said Dr. Katz. “We have had tremendous interest in the school in the early days of our accreditation, and we are on our way toward bringing in the first group of candidates to interview in the fall.” Within the first month of accreditation, CMSRU received over 500 applications for the 50 spots in the charter class – and expects to receive many more over the coming months. “We are thrilled, but not completely surprised, to see such high quality applicants for our school,” said John McGeehan, MD, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. “We now begin the hard work of finding those students who are not only academically excellent, but who resonate with our mission.”

CMSRU will begin interviewing applicants in the fall of this year, with an interview day uniquely designed to highlight the personal characteristics in interviewees that make for outstanding physicians. In addition to a “traditional” interview with two interviewers, a second encounter with a mock patient will address a non-medical, ethical issue. This encounter will allow students to demonstrate their interpersonal and communication skills, as well as provide a platform for illustrating their individual ethical approach to problems – characteristics difficult to portray on a standardized application or in a traditional interview.

“This is a huge milestone in the life of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and a proud day for South Jersey,” said Dr. Ali Houshmand, Interim President at Rowan. “This approval by the LCME shows that we’re on the right path to bring a new kind of medical school to New Jersey.”

Leaders at Cooper University Hospital point to the excellent health care and economic benefits to which the medical school will contribute for the region.

“This official accreditation announcement brings us one step closer to expanding the level of medical excellence in our region and creating the backbone for an industry sector in medicine, innovation and technology based in South Jersey,” said George E. Norcross III, Chairman of the Board at Cooper.

The preliminary accreditation is the third step of the five-step LCME accreditation process, which is complete when the charter class graduates in May 2016.

BENEFITS FOR SOUTH JERSEY PHYSICIANS AND COMMUNITY
• Builds education and medicine industry sector for the region.
• Addresses physician shortages in the state.
• Helps keep in-state the $2 billion in health care spending currently going to Pennsylvania.
• Attracts highly-regarded physicians to teach and work at Cooper.

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