Simulated exams, procedures, surgeries and state-of-the-art technology were on display Wednesday evening as the Central Michigan University College of Medicine opened its doors to more than 200 guests in a grand opening of its new educational building in Saginaw.
The 46,000-square-foot facility was completed in May, and full capabilities of the 10,000-square-foot simulation suite were fired up in recent weeks. CMU College of Medicine residents and students helped the simulation team conduct demonstrations in each room for regional physicians, elected officials and Great Lakes Bay Region community leaders.
CMU President George E. Ross welcomed guests at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and led off remarks in a short presentation before tours of the simulation center began. Residents already are training in the building, and members of the CMU College of Medicine inaugural class of 64 students, who started in 2013, will begin their third year of studies on July 6.
"I just had a conversation earlier today with some of our first-year students, soon-to-be second-year students, and you'll meet some of our third-year students who will be giving tours today," Ross said. "We're doing this to train physicians for the state of Michigan, where there is a severe shortage. We're doing it with these great students, soon to be great physicians, with the great physicians of this community who supported this, with our partners in Covenant and St. Mary's and throughout this region."
College of Medicine Dean George Kikano, Covenant HealthCare President and CEO Ed Bruff, St. Mary's of Michigan President and CEO Elizabeth Aderholdt and CMU College of Medicine students Ayesha Yalamarthy of Saginaw and Brett Pierce of Frankenmuth also spoke.
"Our founding class of 64 students will be starting July 1 in this building," Kikano said. "They will be at St. Mary's, they will be at Covenant, they will be with community physicians. So between July 1 and next June, all 64 students will have done clinical rotations in Saginaw. We have really committed to this building, this is going to be the hub for training our students."
The third class of 104 students – drawn from 4,603 applicants – arrives in Mount Pleasant on Aug. 3, bringing the number of medical students at CMU to 272. Of that total, 85 percent are from Michigan, reflecting the mission of the College of Medicine to provide quality physicians for underserved areas in the state and the Midwest.