MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The University of Louisiana at Monroe has been approved for a new medical school.
Wednesday, the Louisiana Board of Regents approved a license for the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine to be constructed on the ULM campus, according to board member Dr. Charles McDonald.
President Nick Bruno, who has been working on this program for three years, said now is the time because of the growing demand for doctors.
"About 30% of the physicians in Louisiana are at least 60 years old or older and the average age of physicians is 55," Bruno said.
Plus, he said this potential school would offer students another option since medical schools often face stiff cuts by the state.
"Our medical schools in Louisiana--partly due to restrictions on the state budget-have not been able to keep up with the demand," he said.
And, the school won't just benefit students. The entire community stands to gain millions of dollars.
They plan to build a 100-thousand square foot building on the ULM campus, with a groundbreaking expected in September. The board says construction will be privately funded.
They plan to offer their first class in the fall of 2020.
Dr. McDonald, who introduced the motion, says this is one of the biggest things to happen to ULM and for our community.