Xavier University plans to open a medical school in Louisiana
Xavier University of Louisiana, a historically black Catholic university in New Orleans, plans to open a medical school and health science graduate school, which the university hopes will help diversify the medical field and curb the shortage of doctors this week.
The school is researching what it can teach, who it can hire and how it can pay for its new program, officials said. Xavier is also talking to local hospitals that may admit their students for clinical rotation.
The planning process will take at least three years, said Reynold Verrett, president of Xavier. School administrators have been discussing the possibility for more than five years.
“We’re not in a hurry, because we want to do it well,” Verrett said.
Xavier’s pre-made program has been recognized nationally for sending more black students to medical school than any other college. But the benefits of diversity in the medical field as a whole are small, and Verrett said medical school could have a greater impact on Xavier.
Despite the lack of long-term health care and some of the poorest health care outcomes, Louisiana faces medical school and residential shortages that also appear nationwide.
According to figures released last year by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. could face a shortage of 37,800 to 124,000 doctors by 2034. Another recent AAMC report states that “black or African American applicants, matric and graduates lag behind others. Groups.”
“It’s important that we pay attention not only to the shortage of doctors, but also to the diversity of the doctor’s population,” Verrett said. “We have learned throughout the epidemic – but as we already know – faith and representation are intertwined. Faith is an important part of public health and also to eliminate health inequalities.”
Although more than a dozen historically black medical schools existed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there are only four, according to the National Medical Association. They are Howard University College of Medicine in Washington D.C., Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Mehri Medical College in Nashville, and Charles R. in California. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
John D. in New Orleans. Others, including Flint Medical College, closed due to lack of funding or professors. Those closures have led to a shortage of doctors and a lack of diversity in the field, Verrett said.
Xavier’s Medical School will be joined by four others from Louisiana: Tullen University School of Medicine, LSU Health New Orleans, LSU Health Shevport and Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), which will graduate first class in 2024.
Xavier has established other health professional programs in recent years, in all areas where the rate of representation of people of color is extremely low. These include Public Health, Speech Pathology, Pharmaceutical Studies and Health Analytics, as well as the Physician Assistant Program in partnership with Auchsner Health Systems.
“Xavier was founded to promote the creation of a just and humane society through education,” Verrett said. “The establishment of graduate education programs dedicated to the preparation of more black healthcare professionals is a natural extension of the legacy of our founders, as we approach the second century of our service. We are called upon to respond to a critical need of our country.”