Establishing a Regional Medical Campus in Southeast Florida: Successes and Challenges

Rackleff, Linda Z.; O'Connell, Mark T. MD; Warren, Dwight W. PhD; Friedland, Michael L. MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31803339a4
Educational Innovations

In August 2007, the first class of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UM) medical students will begin the four-year undergraduate medical education program at the regional medical campus at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) The authors describe how UM and FAU were able to make a successful case to state policymakers for a regional medical campus as a cost-effective approach to expanding undergraduate and graduate medical education opportunities in southeast Florida The authors discuss what motivated UM and FAU to partner to create a regional medical campus, and they describe the challenges that have been encountered since 2004, particularly those relating to delivering a comparable two-year program on two campuses using distance-learning technologies. The opportunities that have resulted from expansion of the regional campus from two to four years are also described, including the development of a new and innovative four-year curriculum emphasizing comprehensive chronic disease management and case-based and patient-centered education using collaborative, small-group student learning communities. UM medical students thus have a choice between two educational tracks. The authors conclude that no significant impediments have resulted from the Florida collaboration between a public and a private university and that the regional medical campus model can serve as a viable option for other states and institutions attempting to expand medical school enrollment and meet physician workforce needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Ms. Rackleff is director of planning and administration, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

Dr. O'Connell is senior associate dean for medical education, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.

Dr. Warren, formerly vice dean for biomedical programs, Florida Atlantic University, is now senior advisor in educational affairs, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Friedland is dean, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University and dean of the College of Biomedical Science at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

Correspondence should be addressed to Ms. Rackleff, Florida Atlantic University, Bldg. 71, Rm. 145, Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton, Florida 33431; telephone: (561) 297-0282; fax: (561) 297-2221; e-mail: (

© 2007 Association of American Medical Colleges