George Mason University leaders hope to open the doors of a medical school at its Prince William campus in August 2022. Officials will plot out the ambitious three-year timeline during a presentation to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors on Nov. 19.
After conducting a feasibility study earlier this year, the school hopes to begin with 50 students each year — but first will need accreditation from the State Council of Higher Education.
In October, David Wu, the university’s provost or chief academic officer, told the university’s board of visitors while the medical school would bring value to the university and could improve equity and the region’s economy, challenges to starting a school include identifying clinical partnerships, a national shortage of residency opportunities, funding and accreditation.
In July, university officials began studying the feasibility of beginning a medical school at the science and technology campus located at 10900 University Boulevard in Prince William County — this would be the first medical school in Northern Virginia.
Wu told the board that the university’s next step would be to gather data and study university resources that could be used to start a medical school, according to a draft of the meeting minutes reviewed by InsideNoVa.
Wu said this next step is required to receive accreditation and would take about six months to complete. The university will completed the self study by spring 2020, with the board of visitors meeting in May to decide whether or not to move ahead with the proposed medical school.
Wu said there is a need for doctors in Virginia and in the country, especially primary care providers. A medical school could mean more research funding and it would benefit the community, he said.
Prince William contributed $50,000 toward the medical school feasibility study. The Claude Moore Foundation has contributed $200,000 and the university will pay for the rest of the study’s total cost, which has not been released.