The shiny new kid on campus: CMU's new College of Medicine
College of Medicine

Even before CMU's campus springs back to life in August, a new set of students will be hard at work — learning to be doctors.

CMU’s new College of Medicine opens this summer with its inaugural class of 60 students.

More than 2,700 students applied to the medical school, created to help solve a dire physician shortage in mid- and northern Michigan.

CMU's College of Medicine takes a unique approach — seeking students interested in practicing in mid- and northern Michigan and training them how to do it.

Students will be trained in the most needed medical fields: general medicine, pediatrics, ob-gyn, emergency medicine and psychiatry.

Once accepted into the program, CMU medical students will train right here, in our communities. Multiple hospitals across the state are working in partnership with the university and will serve as clinical education sites.

“Early on, students will be based in the offices of physicians, practicing their skills in the communities where they'll work one day,” says Ernie Yoder, Dean of the CMU College of Medicine.

Medical students will spend 80 to 90 percent of their time at these clinical sites, working side by side with medical professionals. Seeing patients. Bonding with them, from their first days in our program. That's different than what happens at most other medical schools.

Our innovative medical curriculum unfolds in a $19.4 million, 60,000-square-foot addition to the Health Professions Building on CMU's campus.

A critical part of the training for these future doctors also will happen in Saginaw. Construction is set to begin this fall on the College of Medicine's East Campus, with facilities at St. Mary's of Michigan-Saginaw and Covenant HealthCare.

It's expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015 and will be the home for CMU's medical students during their last two years of study.

When their training is complete, the new physicians will head to the towns and rural communities that need them most. CMU has been working with officials in the region to develop scholarship and loan forgiveness programs for students who make commitments to come back to their communities to practice.

Yoder says new medical school will have a huge impact on the future, including stimulating health-related research on diseases that specifically impact the Midwest region, such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer.

“We're heavily focused on prevention,” Yoder says. “We want to help people achieve health and wellness.”

For more about the College of Medicine, visit