Melbourne-based Florida Institute of Technology will host a medical school in partnership with a private New Mexico college.
The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine and Florida Tech have signed an affiliation agreement which will establish a four-year osteopathic medical school in Melbourne.
Florida Tech will host the college on its campus through the sublease of roughly 40,000 square feet of space in the L3Harris Commons and share resources when it comes to library, dining and student housing.
The school, which will be Brevard County’s first college of medicine, currently is going through the accreditation process. The college plans to start with a class of 100 students in July 2024, who would graduate in May 2028.
Florida Tech Interim President Robert King told Orlando Business Journal a driving force for the affiliation was opportunities for students and faculty.
“We’ve made a significant commitment to broadening our offerings in biomedical engineering, so when this opportunity developed, this was a perfect fit for us and our students,” King said. “We have a number of students who go on to medical school and the notion if they go onto this pathway program and they can be guaranteed admission, it works for them and for Burrell.”
The partnership will allow physicians to work in Florida Tech labs on the research side, King added.
Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine operates a regional academic center in the county which has been here for three years, but only services students in their third and fourth years for medical clerkship rotations. John L. Hummer, co-founder and president of Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, said Florida is a good fit because the state provides the third-highest number of student applicants to the college each year.
“It was natural to do this to meet the need of the student body coming from Florida,” Hummer said.
Meanwhile, Florida is expected to have a shortage of 18,000 physicians by 2035, according to a 2021 study from The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida and the Florida Hospital Association.