St. Thomas drops plans to build new medical schoolby Art Hughes, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The University of St. Thomas has concluded a new medical school is too expensive to pursue.
The university's board of trustees Thursday abandoned a proposal to establish a medical school along with Allina Hospitals and Clinics.
The decision comes six months after the university unveiled the ambitious goal, and four days after Allina voted to abandon the effort.
The two institutions conducted a feasibility study indicating significant financial obstacles to building, from the ground up, what would be Minnesota's third medical school.
University officials originally hoped to tap into what they identify as a growing need for primary care physicians.
Penny Wheeler, chief clinical officer for Allina, says her institution feels establishing a medical school would take resources away from other important goals, such as providing better coordination and navigation of patient care.
"We just felt as though when we looked at this and what would be required, we really needed to look at our other committments and aspirations and follow through with those committments."
In a written statement, St. Thomas President Dennis Dease said there's still a demand for doctors, but the university is not in a position to educate them in the near term.