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New Report Evaluates Costs, First Steps Of Establishing UC Merced Medical School

Lance Johnson
Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr user LanceJohnson http://www.flickr.com/photos/lancejohnson/5703722259/

A medical school at UC Merced has been on the table since before the university was even built. Now, the University of California and a local legislator are renewing their efforts to make it happen.

A report published this week by the University of California Office of the President estimates a medical school at UC Merced would cost $150 million in up-front costs alone. That doesn’t include the roughly $30 million dollars needed annually to run it.

The report also recommends establishing an endowment to support the med school in the long term, and includes a proposal for how to phase the school in over time.

Also earlier this week, a bill that would set aside state funding for a UC Merced med school passed its first committee vote in the state legislature. Assembly Bill 2202 was introduced by Assemblymember Adam Gray in February.

In a statement, UC Merced spokesperson James Leonard said the school is grateful to Assemblymember Gray “for his consistent interest in improved medical education.” Leonard looks forward to laying a solid foundation to eventually support a medical school, “but only after permanent funding and resources are realized.”

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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