Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine announced plans in late August for a branch campus in Auburn, accepting its first class of students in 2015. The school, based in Virginia and tied to Virginia Tech University, said it chose Auburn so it could partner on research facilities. The school plans to admit 150 students per class and said it hopes to help meet the need for more doctors in rural areas.
A hundred or so miles south, Dothan is awaiting an even closer opening of its new medical school. The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine expects to begin offering classes to its first 150 students in 2013. The Dothan school is a national first, experts say—the first medical school organized by a regional, non-profit medical center. The Southeast Alabama Medical Center is the driving force behind the school, also highlighted as a means for bringing better medical care to rural parts of the state.
And way up north in Florence, the Center for Integrative Health is due to open in fall 2014. The center, on the campus of the University of North Alabama, is a cooperative international program of the Shenqi Ethnic Medicine College, teaching holistic healing. The founder of the Shenqi College in China, Zhang Zhiting, is underwriting the cost of the Florence center.
By Nedra Bloom