INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- For the first time in more than a century, an Indiana school that isn’t Indiana University has graduated students from its medical college. Marian University started its medical school four years ago, and on Sunday members of its first graduating class got their diplomas.
School officials say this was ten years in the making. That’s when they first started looking at opening a medical school back in 2007. The college officially opened in 2013.
“We were doing something new and we had to figure it out,” said Dr. Nick Salupo, who received his diploma on Sunday.
“It has been 110 years since someone opened a medical school in this state,” said Marian’s President Daniel Elsener. He says the college began after the university saw a need.
“From the very beginning, we articulated primary care is the big need in our country,” said Elsener.
Right now there’s a nationwide shortage of primary care doctors, which includes people like family specialists and internists. But there’s also another challenge the school is hoping to meet.
“We have the best university and private college network that any state has in the country and one of our challenges is to keep those students when they graduate here in the state of Indiana,” said Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (R), who has pushed for more science and technology students who are educated in Indiana to stay there.
As part of its approach, the school is encouraging its graduates to stay in Indiana, where there’s a need for primary care doctors, especially in rural areas. It’s a goal that seems to be connecting with some of the students, even though the less than 40 percent of this first class will stay here for their residencies.
“I would absolutely love to stay in Indiana,” said Salupo, who also grew up in Indiana.
This is only the state’s second medical college, however it is the only osteopathic medical college in Indiana. The school says more than 60 percent of this class plans on becoming primary care doctors.