Daniel V. Schidlow, MD
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education has approved the creation of our new regional medical campus at Tower Health — a formal recognition that we have the means and support to embrace this initiative.
The innovative relationship between Drexel and Tower Health is moving forward very well because it is mutually enriching. The initiative is important to us because it will provide a wonderful, state-of-the-art hospital for our students' clinical training and a vital, diverse community with opportunities for civic engagement. For our part, the College of Medicine boasts a state-of-the-art curriculum and a first-rate reputation in medical education.
We are excited that there is going to be a brand new education building less than a mile from the hospital. In a sense, that building will be the emblem of success for a larger development project and vibrant economic growth. We are very happy to be an anchor to that kind of effort in a community where we want to make a contribution.
We are also gratified that we will have a presence in an area where there is a lot of academic activity. There are some excellent colleges in Berks County and its neighbors, and we look forward to working with those institutions in meaningful ways, perhaps in graduate offerings, particularly in the health sciences. This kind of alliance for teaching and learning is another way we will be enriched by expanding what we think of as our College of Medicine community.
In fact, we already have good roots in Berks County. I wanted the president of Tower Health, Clint Matthews, to see what terrific students we have. I introduced him to a recent grad, Jonathan Saperstein, MD, a first-year resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Reading Hospital, and to a fellow Hispanic, Noe Cabello, the president of our Latino Medical Student Association, whose family is of Mexican origin and lives in Reading. Mr. Matthews, who hails from Texas, and I enjoyed tamales made by Noe's mom; they reminded him of Texas, and me of "humitas," the Chilean version of tamales (and the local term for bow ties).
Reading and, to a lesser degree, Berks County are full of immigration stories. I don't pretend to be objective, but I am convinced that diversity of association, environment and experience enhances everything we do.
In the end, while we are being enriched by our affiliation with such a successful health system, in a dynamic, diverse community, my hope is that we will contribute to the atmosphere of growth as Berks County produces its first crop of physicians.