A&M's Medical School Plans for Expansion

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Texas A&M's medical school is getting a shot in the arm. The board of regents approved a proposal to more than double it's size.

Dr. Christopher Colenda, the school's dean, says the expansion will help address health needs for the state's growing population.

"In order to meet the expected demand for physicians over the next 10-15 years, it's important for medical schools to expand their class size," said Dr. Christopher Colenda, dean, Texas A&M College of Medicine.

Currently, each class has close to 80 students, but next year's class will have 100 students. That number will grow until each class has 200 students.

But, that isn't the only change. Right now medical students complete their first two years in College Station then relocate to Temple for two years of clinical experience. With the expansion, students will be able to complete all four years at one campus.

"To have third and fourth year medical student's here in town is a great advantage to our community because it will be a true partnership between the college of medicine, the community physicians in town and the community hospitals here in town," said Colenda.

The increase in student size and the option of attending a four year program in College Station or Temple is going to directly affect the office of admissions, because now they will have to find a new way to market the university.

Philomeno Maldonado is the assistant dean of admissions, he says A&M is attractive to many because of the small classes. Even though the size is increasing, they're still going to sell students on the personal medical school experience.

"We will have to emphasize over the course of time what is unique or special about each campus and what it has to offer," said Philomeno Maldonado, assistant dean of admissions, Texas A&M College of Medicine.

The school hasn't determined which local hospital students will use for their clinical experience, but the once small medical school will now be a bigger medical school with two full campuses.