(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — Following the recent receipt of $33 million from the Texas Legislature to fund its growth, the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine is kicking off the first phase of its expansion in Bryan-College Station on Friday.

Sixteen students will complete third-year clinical clerkship rotations in family medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology during the 2007-08 academic year. Six students – two in each clerkship – began training this week and will be recognized June 29 in conjunction with the ninth annual graduation ceremony and dinner for residents of the Brazos Family Medicine Residency. The event is from 6-9 p.m. at Pebble Creek Country Club in College Station.

“This marks the first time in the college’s 30-year history that a group of students will complete entire clerkship rotations in this community,” said Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., Jean and Thomas McMullin Dean of Medicine. “We have great expectations for the future of clinical education and training of medical students in Bryan-College Station, and we are grateful to our outstanding local clinical partners. They play an integral part in helping us educate our future ‘Aggie docs’.”

Previously, students have received two years of basic science education on the College Station campus, followed by two years of clinical training in Temple at Scott & White Hospital and other clinical partners. As the HSC-COM has continued to grow, leaders realized the need to expand basic science and clinical training programs at both locations.

“In the past, the clinical training of our students has predominately taken place in Temple,” said Mark English, M.D., family medicine clerkship coordinator. “As we begin third-year clerkships in Bryan-College Station this year, it signals a change for the community as far as the addition of services, resources and physicians. As the College of Medicine grows, I think we’ll see the growth of health care in this region as well.”

Third-year students now have the opportunity to complete clerkships in Bryan-College Station with its local clinical partners, including Scott & White Clinic, St. Joseph Regional Health Center, the Brazos Family Medicine Residency, and the College Station Medical Center.

“I chose to participate in the pediatrics clerkship in Bryan-College Station because I feel like this experience will give me a realistic idea of what general pediatrics is about,” said Lindsay Fish, third-year HSC-COM medical student.

“I already know a few of the doctors I’ll be working with here, and I highly respect them,” Ms. Fish continued. “And, since I’m only one of two third-year students doing pediatrics this rotation, I know I’ll get the opportunity to participate in many procedures and get lots of hands-on experience. I’m excited about being one of the first students to participate in the clerkship program here locally because we’ll be setting the bar for students that will follow after us.”

— Marketing & Communications