New Model: School of Medical Research

Virginia Tech’s new micro-school of medicine, designed to train physician scientists, is a fantastic model. And, having lived and spent considerable time there, the area is absolutely gorgeous and affordable.

Virginia Tech, Carilion will create joint medical school in Roanoke
By Larry Hincker

BLACKSBURG, VA., January 3, 2007 — Gov. Timothy M. Kaine joined Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger and Carilion CEO Dr. Edward G. Murphy Wednesday to announce the creation of a new medical school in Virginia. Virginia Tech and Carilion will create a jointly operated private medical school, located in downtown Roanoke, adjacent to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Patterned after Harvard Medical School’s Health Sciences and Technology program and Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner College of Medicine, the new school will have a small class size and be dedicated to training physician researchers. Class size is projected to be 40 students per year. In addition to a traditional medical school curriculum, all students will receive training in research methods, conduct original research and write a thesis as a condition of graduation. To accommodate the expanded graduation requirements, the school will have a 5-year curriculum instead of the traditional 4-year curriculum.

Research will be a key component of the school’s curriculum, with the goal of training physicians who want to make research part of their medical career. Virginia Tech’s partnership with Carilion provides opportunities to expand important research programs at Virginia Tech, including: bioinformatics, computer science, and engineering, along with epidemiology, health services, basic sciences and clinical research. Students will have the option of earning a master’s degree at the same time they complete their medical training. This curriculum will also put a Ph.D. within reach for students who would like to pursue one.

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