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Florida Tech announces Brevard's first med school

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Florida Institute of Technology
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John Hummer, president of Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, announcing the partnership with the Florida Institute of Technology resulting in Brevard County's first school of medicine.

Florida Institute of Technology is opening Brevard County’s first medical school next year.

The technical college will be doing so thanks to a partnership with the New Mexico private school of Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine. The schools entered into an affiliation agreement in November and plan to launch a four-year osteopathic medical school on Florida Tech’s Melbourne campus, with the med school headquartered on two floors of the L3Harris Commons via a sublease agreement. The building is being renovated to accommodate classrooms and several labs.

Florida Tech leaders made the announcement Thursday in a live presentation alongside educators, administration, and alumni of BCOM.

Additionally, Florida Tech pre-med students will be guaranteed admission into BCOM if they meet established academic criteria via the Medical School Pathway Program.

The partnership comes at a crucial time for Florida," said Travis Proctor the chairman of the board of trustees at Florida Tech during the live presentation.

“It brings Brevard county its medical school, a critical resource when you consider that it has been determined that Florida will be short 18,000 physicians by 2035,” he said.

Proctor was referencing a 2021 study by Florida Hospital Association and The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida.

Addressing the need

Only 32% of Florida’s population has adequate primary care, and half of primary care physicians are expected to retire in the next 15 to 20 years, according to a study by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

President of Burrell, John Hummer, said the new med school should help address the need.

“If you go to medical school in the same state you do a residency, Florida ranks at one of the top in the country, 78.8% retention. You go to medical school in Florida. You do a residency in Florida, there’s almost an 80% chance you’re going to stay in Florida,” Hummer said.

Conversations with BCOM to pursue an additional location, or a four-year campus, began in 2016.

BCOM receives 4,000 applicants to its school every year with the third largest applicant pool coming from Florida, Hummer said.

"It was natural to meet the need of the student body coming from the state of Florida," Hummer said.

Florida Tech's inaugural class will have 100 students and should graduate by May of 2028.

Originally from South Florida, Joe Mario came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida where he graduated with degrees in Radio & Television Production, Film, and Psychology. He worked several beats and covered multimedia at The Villages Daily Sun but returned to the City Beautiful as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel where he covered crime, hurricanes, and viral news. Joe Mario has too many interests and not enough time but tries to focus on his love for strange stories in comic books and horror movies. When he's not writing he loves to run in his spare time.
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