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LIJ announces medical school partnership with Hofstra

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The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and Hofstra University announced Tuesday that the medical school the two institutions are partnering to create received accreditation from the state and will be matriculating students next summer.

Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz said the school will begin accepting applications July 1 and classes will begin in the summer of 2011. He said the first incoming class is expected to be comprised of about 40 students.

“It’s an incredible accomplish­ment,” Rabinowitz said at the school’s newly renovated academic building in Uniondale, L.I., calling the new school “a first-class scientific research university.”

“This is a historic event. This is a life-changing event,” said North Shore-LIJ President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Dowling. “Having a medical school ... elevates us to a completely different level,” he said.

Dowling said the medical school is the first one to open in the state in more than 40 years and will be “a wonderful asset for the Long Island economy,” saying it will attract biotechnology and other science industries to the region.

North Shore-LIJ Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lawrence Smith will be the school’s dean and retain his position at the hospital, Dowling said.

Smith said the school will teach its students “to put knowledge into action” and make them demonstrate that they can apply what they learned in books to medical situations.

He said the students will all be required to become licensed EMTs to help them better understand patients.

“This will hopefully be a true learning community,” Smith said.

The medical school will be allopathic, meaning it will award MD degrees. Osteopathic schools hand out OD diplomas.

Hofstra was given a $12.5 million grant from the state Senate to renovate what was once known as Weeb Ewbank Hall, which formerly served as the headquarters of the New York Jets, so it can use the building for the new medical students. The Jets used to have its off-season training at the Long Island campus building.

The state Department of Education’s Division of Professional Education approved the medical school’s education program Friday. In April, the state Regents authorized the school to confer MD degrees.

The two announcements are what gave the medical school final authorization to enroll its first class.

Faculty for the school will consist of doctors from North Shore-LIJ hospitals and students will be able to use the health system’s newly expanded Patient Safety Institute, which the hospitals said was the country’s largest patient safety education center.

Students will also have access to the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research on the North Shore University Hospital campus in Manhasset, L.I.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 5:50 pm, October 10, 2011
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