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College of Medicine, Robert Morris University, and Allegheny General Hospital to Launch Collaborative Medical Education Program for High School Grads

February 22, 2008

Robert Morris University (RMU), Drexel University College of Medicine, and Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) today announced plans to launch a unique, collaborative medical education program designed to attract promising students who will ultimately practice medicine in the Pittsburgh region.

The Scholars Articulation Program will recruit qualified high school seniors to enroll in RMU's pre-medicine program in preparation for attending medical school at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. During their undergraduate career, students will complete a pre-professional internship at AGH, which is a regional campus of Drexel University College of Medicine. Then, during their final two years of medical school, they will return to the hospital for a clerkship and a clinical rotation.

"This partnership represents a commitment on the part of our three institutions to train doctors to serve in Pennsylvania, which is facing a critical shortage of physicians," said RMU President Gregory Dell'Omo. "This is also an opportunity to attract exemplary students who might not have otherwise chosen to enroll at Robert Morris University or to attend college in Western Pennsylvania. We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with AGH and the Drexel University College of Medicine."

A 2005 study by RMU found that of the 8,400 physicians in Western Pennsylvania, only 36 percent attended medical school in-state. Furthermore, the study found that students who leave Pennsylvania for their medical education often do not return.

In 2005, RMU created a pre-medicine program in its School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science. The program has enrolled 15 students since its inception. Students attending RMU in the fall of 2008 will be eligible to participate in the new Scholars-Articulation Program.

"We are delighted to partner with RMU and the Drexel University College of Medicine in an endeavor that we believe is critically important to the long-term health and wellbeing of our region," said Connie Cibrone, AGH president and chief executive officer. "The education and training of tomorrow's health care professionals is one of the cornerstones of our mission as an academic medical center, and we look forward to helping make this wonderful opportunity available to local high school students."

To be considered for the Scholars Articulation Program, students must have a minimum combined score of 1270 on the mathematics and verbal portions of the SAT, and maintain at least a 3.5 GPA while enrolled in the pre-medicine program at RMU. Officials at AGH and Drexel University College of Medicine will interview candidates recommended for the program by RMU.

This exclusive program will accept a maximum of five students each year. Preference will be given to students from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and to those who want to pursue careers in family medicine, general internal medicine or general pediatrics. As part of the agreement, AGH physicians who are involved with the program will be designated as part-time faculty at RMU.

"We are very pleased to build upon our strong academic relationship with AGH through this new affiliation with Robert Morris University," said Richard V. Homan, MD, senior vice president for health affairs, and dean of Drexel University College of Medicine. "This unique partnership will enable more students to attend medical school, and ultimately enter local residency training programs and practice in Western Pennsylvania in order to serve their communities."