A medical school partnership between Ochsner Health System and an Australian university has graduated its first nine students.
The program, called the University of Queensland School of Medicine Clinical School at Ochsner, has students spend the first two years of medical school at the University of Queensland in Brisbane and the final two years of clinical rotations at Oschsner in New Orleans. One of the goals is to help alleviate the shortage of physicians in the U.S. and Louisiana, said Dr. William Pinsky, executive vice president and chief academic officer at Ochsner.
The curriculum also has a lot of focus on primary care and rural primary care, which could draw students into that arena, Pinsky said.
The program has grown more quickly and at a lower cost than it would have had Ochsner decided to found a medical school from scratch, Pinsky said. “It would probably take 10 years to get to the volume of students we (have) now and cost $50 million,” he said.
After the initial class of nine, the school admitted a class of 30 in each of the next two years, then 84 last year, and in January accepted 104 students, Pinsky said.