U of I med school eyes expansion in DM

From the Des Moines Register:

The University of Iowa Hospitals and the Des Moines Area Medical Consortium is looking at a new downtown location in order to double the number of medical students receiving training in the city.

“It will improve the medical education of our students and hopefully entice more of these students to stay in Des Moines and surrounding areas,” said Jean Robillard, vice president for medical affairs at the U of I.

Twenty-five to 35 U of I medical students now spend rotations each year at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Blank Children’s Hospital, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Broadlawns Medical Center, said Dr. Steven Craig, the consortium’s executive director.

Education space in the consortium’s offices at 1415 Woodland St. is already tight and would not be adequate if the consortium agrees to increase the number of U of I medical students to 50 to 55 each year, Craig said.

“We recognize that taking in more students means we need more classrooms, conference rooms and patient simulation rooms,” Craig said. “We’ve been exploring what type of facility we would need.”

The consortium would likely develop a new facility close to its offices just south of Methodist, Craig said. Consortium leaders are now trying to figure out how much it would cost, how they would raise the money and where the building would be located, he said.

“No timeline has been set,” he said. “We’re now in the exploratory stage.”