Those working to bring Belmont’s future medical school to fruition are now paying off an extra year to do soAnd they say they have a lot to do before welcoming students in the fall of 2024.
Construction workers are currently adding the sixth and final floor on the Thomas F. Frist Junior College of Medicine site, with completion scheduled for April 2024.
Across campus, college faculty sit elbow-to-elbow in booths that bring together the medical school curriculum. The admissions staff imagines how they will hire the ideal student.
They are all preparing for the July site visit of the Medical Education Liaison Committee, which will decide whether the college can transition from candidate status to primary status and begin recruiting students. School leaders hope to hear back again in October.
Having an extra year means contractor RC Matthews doesn’t have to worry so much about supply shortages, says Chase Trevett, owner of ChaseCo, who has served as the Belmont owner’s representative on all of the school’s construction projects since 2004.
“Supply chain issues are absolutely a real thing,” Trivett said. “We’re fortunate enough that, given the overall project scheduling, we order things a year in advance—sometimes even longer—to meet supply chain issues. Things that normally take three to four months may take six or eight months.”
When complete, the approximately 195,000-square-foot building will fuse with Belmont’s current Greek Revival aesthetic, complete with Cinderella’s columns and staircases.
The building will have a separate entrance, with students entering on the first floor on the Wedgwood Street side and the second floor on the Acklin Street side. The first and second floors will contain two tiered instructional theaters to accommodate 150 to 200 students as well as a café, lobby, and smaller classroom spaces. The third floor will house the school’s simulation technology, and the fourth is for patient volunteers and actors. The fifth and sixth floors will house additional offices, including office space for 10 Harry Potter-themed “houses”, a common practice in a medical school.
The faculty and staff is expanding
Belmont includes 23 faculty and 14 medical school staff, plus five on the executive leadership team. The school also has 11 open job listings and is actively recruiting. Of those listed on the school’s staff page, the largest number were recruited from out of state, while seven came from Belmont, six from Meharry College of Medicine, three from Vanderbilt University and three from Lipscomb University.
The 42-team will be led by former Vanderbilt CEO Anderson Spickard III, at least through the certification process. If the school is granted preliminary status this year, it will then transition to provisional status, which requires that students have completed their first year and can submit feedback. Full accreditation cannot come until students graduate from the program.
In November, Belmont announced It would begin hiring Jewish faculty and staff for the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Pharmacy. Traditionally, Belmont appointed only Christian professors. The LCME requires schools to have a diverse faculty that reflects the student population, explained E. Terrell Washington, assistant dean for faculty and academic affairs. He described adding a Jewish faculty as “one of the many ways to live it up.” There is no word yet on whether Belmont will expand to include more religions or expand the policy to the rest of the university.
The curriculum will require collaboration
During the July LCME visit, the college will offer the first 18 months of the curriculum. In interviews with The Washington Post, the professors described a “startup-style” environment in which the group works toward an integrated medical education curriculum, combining basic science and clinical care through case studies.
“If I were hired to teach microbiology at another medical school, I would be given that ‘this is our curriculum, this is what the schedule to go and teach’ looks like, but here we have the opportunity to meet each other,” said Tanu Rana, Associate Professor or Microbiology and Science. Immunity:
The Faculty of Medicine consists of two years of science classes and two years of clinical courses. Washington said HCA will be the school’s only clinical branch for third and fourth year students.
The curriculum will also combine “the head and the heart,” said Andrew Michell, associate professor of psychiatry, as well as professional education as part of a collaboration with the Belmont Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy.
“We need them to be academically excellent in terms of medical knowledge, the intellectual side, the head, but also be made up with discerning hearts,” Michel said, adding that the goal is to promote “medicine that knows the underlying issues.” wisdom and be trained in virtues so that she knows how to apply science and medical knowledge towards people who are suffering and can be aware of their whole lives and personalities.”
Even in town Three medical schoolsBelmont shouldn’t have a problem with the order. The admissions staff is anticipating over 3,000 applicants for the inaugural class, which will comprise 50 students. By the third year, the school will be working up to 75 students, with 100 students expected in future classes. Enrollment is level with Vanderbilt, which accepted 96 students in 2021, and Meharry, which has about 115 students per class.
With the new school, people like Jean Shelton, Assistant Dean for Admissions, can build their admissions and hiring process around exactly the student they want. She said this process combines metrics, experiences, and traits.
As a private school, Shelton said, Belmont would not have any requirements to balance in-state and out-of-state students. The school also won’t require students to be Christians, despite the associate dean of Student Affairs and Diversity Karen Lewis said“We are very secure in our identity as a Christian university or a Christ-centered university.”
“The hardest piece, but the most fun for me is the themes,” Shelton said. “Who are you? What kind of person are you? Do your morals and values align with ours here at Frist? And would that person be a good fit here?”