It is an honor for me to serve as the dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and a truly transformative opportunity to work with all of you to build the future of this great institution.
Today, we are witnessing the fruition of the seeds that Charles E. Schmidt, Barbara and Dick Schmidt and the Schmidt Family Foundation planted nearly two decades ago with their historic gift of $15 million, which was matched by the state of Florida to build the 95,000 square-foot facility that houses our medical school and biomedical research laboratories.
FAU has experienced phenomenal growth and achievement at the helm of our University's great leadership. I am deeply grateful to our founders and my predecessor for their vision and to our faculty and staff for their dedication and commitment. Their efforts combined with the untiring support we have received from our community and the state of Florida enabled us to welcome the inaugural class of 64 students to our new medical school in August 2011. We welcomed 64 members of our class of 2016 last August and we will welcome 64 students to the entering class of 2013 on August 9.
FAU has an extraordinary combination of advantages to offer the 128 students in our medical school as well as prospective students: world-class faculty, a state-of-the-art facility and an innovative curriculum that gives them hands-on experience with patients very early in their training. They have top-quality mentoring from physician preceptors, and in the future they will benefit from residency experiences as well in conjunction with our partners in our Graduate Medical Education Consortium. Nearly 1,000 outstanding community physicians across a broad range of specialties are also taking part in our program, and we have established affiliations with several leading hospitals in Broward and Palm Beach counties. This widespread support is a clear indication of the confidence that the South Florida medical community has in our program.
We are preparing the next generation of physicians at a critical time in healthcare history as we work to address the dire shortage of physicians in Florida and nationwide. We all know that there is an urgent need for more doctors in our country to serve people of all ages, particularly the very large population of Baby Boomers who have now entered their retirement years. We are committed to teach the next generation of physicians to not only be excellent doctors, but to be compassionate, selfless and effective communicators. While American healthcare will change, the basic fundamentals of why we became or want to become physicians will not change -- the patient is and always will be our primary focus. The physicians coming out of FAU's program will be well-prepared to make long-term contributions to the profession and to our communities.
Our young college is also making significant progress in scientific and medical research in the areas of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, diseases of the eye such as age-related macular degeneration and HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, collaborative research initiatives with our partners at Scripps Florida, Max Planck Florida Institute, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies and others are providing a solid base for increased federal funding opportunities in basic, emerging and translational grant programs. Our unique dual M.D./Ph.D. with Scripps Florida and The Scripps Research Institute's Kellogg School of Science and Technology is preparing future physician-scientists for careers in academic medicine and clinical investigation.
The paramount strength of our educational programs and research is our innovative faculty who are continuously looking for ways to enhance the educational experience and develop and test novel approaches for treating various diseases and conditions that afflict us globally.
We believe that you will find the school to be an extraordinarily welcoming place where great things are accomplished. I am proud to be serving as dean during this exciting period of progress and growth and I invite you to join me as we invent the future of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.
David J. Bjorkman, M.D., M.S.P.H. View Dean's Annual Report 2012
Dean and Executive Director of Medical Affairs
- About the Center
- Specialized Training
- Professional Certification