In case you missed it in Sunday’s story about growth in Lynchburg, plans for yet another medical school in the area are being formed. (If you haven’t read the entire story, it’s worth taking the time. I’m just focusing on one sentence in a story that is filled with telling facts about the region.)
This latest proposed school would come with ties to Liberty University.
In talking about Liberty’s focus on growing its student population and programs, Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said that the next step will be an expansion of the existing nursing and health sciences programs with the goal of opening an osteopathic medical school.
So far two new medical schools in the region have already opened in less than a decade. It also comes as other areas of health care education have also grown, including at Radford University and the Jefferson College of Health Sciences.
The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg opened its doors to students in 2003 and graduated its first class in 2007.
VCOM has a mission to train community-focused physicians who want to practice in rural and medically underserved areas. Specifically the school is trying to address the shortage of primary care doctors in the Appalachian Regions of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The school is already expanding. Last year, VCOM founded the Carolinas Campus in Spartanburg, SC and plans to have students studying there starting this fall.
Then, in August, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine welcomed its charter class. The school, which was formed by a private-public partnership between Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech, is an allopathic school aimed at training physicians who also have an interest in medical research.