Community supporters, elected officials and administrators gathered Thursday, Dec. 13 to celebrate the second building affiliated with the UCR School of Medicine.
Visitors toured the School of Medicine Education Building that has been renovated and transformed with a medical simulation laboratory, a 100-seat lecture hall, 10 patient examination rooms and small group discussion rooms. It includes a wall in the entryway that has been dedicated to Thomas and Salma Haider for their ongoing support for the School of Medicine.
“This facility is not merely a building, or a node in the network of campus research, it is the builder of dreams, a vehicle to serve the urgent needs of our community,” said Chancellor Timothy P. White in what is one of his last official appearances at UC Riverside before he goes to lead the California State University system. “From this building will emerge dozens of physicians trained on the ground in this area – many of them local residents, who understand the experiences and the cultures of their patients.”
Founding School of Medicine Dean and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs G. Richard Olds described the simulation lab, where students, much like airline pilots, will learn and practice their skills on patient simulators created to mimic medical conditions and scenarios they are likely to encounter in the practice of medicine.
“Yes, this building has lecture halls, but our lecture halls will be used to a lesser degree than traditional medical schools,” Olds said. “Instead, we devoted a larger amount of square feet to small rooms, we call them Problem-Based Learning rooms, where students will actively solve problems, gaining and applying medical knowledge as they will need to when they become practicing physicians.”
Former State Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter noted that the mission of the UCR medical school to diversify the local physician workforce and to improve the health of people living in the region is consistent with the needs of Inland Southern California and the state. “This is a stunning achievement for the campus, its supporters and the community,” she said.
Former State Senator Denise Ducheny, whose former district included the diverse and medically underserved eastern Coachella Valley, spoke of her desire for the area’s youth to receive their medical education at UCR and return to serve their communities. “Four years from now I will come back for the (first) graduating class,” she said.