Release Date: 09-05-2007 Click here for a larger view
(Honesdale, August 20, 2007)…The new dean of a proposed medical school in Scranton drew a standing room only crowd at Wayne Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, August 15. More than 50 members of Wayne Memorial’s medical staff, boards of trustees and administrators showed up to hear Robert D’Alessandri, M.D. talk about his vision for the proposed Commonwealth Medical College. Even though the school is still in the planning stages, an enrollment date for the first class of 60 has been set—2009—and the finances are “more than 50% there,” according to Dr. D’Alessandri. The school could bring a fresh crop of physicians to an area challenged by a physician shortage—if the students stick around.
“We are proposing a new model of community-based medical education that has our students working in the communities around the medical school from day one,” said Dr. D’Alessandri, “We are looking for students who want to serve and we hope that a high percentage of them will settle down in this area.” He anticipated that the school would give “preferential” treatment to local students pursuing medical degrees and, at the same time, would foster programs in local high schools to generate interest in medical professions.
According to the school’s literature, its founders expect the college to generate “an increase of 425 more practicing physicians in the region by 2025, including students who decide to locate their practices in Northeastern Pennsylvania after completing their training here.”
Unlike more traditional medical schools, the Commonwealth Medical College—formerly called The Medical College of Northeast Pennsylvania—would require its students to perform clinical service with private physicians, healthcare centers and hospitals throughout the region from the start of school. This