The Dean of Western Michigan University’s Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine says full accreditation is “the step I’ve been waiting seven years for since I came to Kalamazoo.”
Hal Jenson started his job as the founding dean of Western’s medical school in 2011. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education has now given its "stamp of approval." Western Got a five year accreditation, which is maximum that can be granted to a new medical school. Jenson says the medical school did as well as it could with LCME.
The first class at Western’s medical school started in the fall of 2014. That first class will graduate on Sunday May 13th, the ceremony will be at Miller Auditorium. Jenson says the students will go through the process to match for residencies. He many of them are likely to go through residency programs at Bronson and Borgess. The two Kalamazoo hospitals are partners of the medical school with Western.
The original medical school class was 54 students, and has grown since then. The class that started in the fall of 2017 was the first full class of 84 students. Jenson says that’s a good size for a class. He says 84 will be the target for classes going forward. Jenson says there were over 4,500 applications last year. He says quality students have been attracted to Kalamazoo. Jenson says Western has brought in above average classes in terms of academics every year. He says the number of applicants will probably drop for the next class. But Jenson says that’s a sign that some students realize they are not likely to meet the academic qualifications.
Jenson says medical education has changed greatly since he earned his MD. Jenson says in the past medical schools focused on education, research and clinical care. He says those are still important. But Jenson says Western has also added leadership and advocacy to the curriculum. He says physicians need to be involved in issues surrounding medicine such as public policy, and advocate for their patients.