Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health welcomed its inaugural class of 40 first-year medical students to its Wyomissing campus on August 2, 2021.
The new, state-of-the-art academic building houses standardized patient exam rooms, an anatomy laboratory, small group learning areas, and simulation labs that promote interdisciplinary education. In addition, the building was designed to enhance student life, promote student health and wellness, and encourage immersive learning experiences. Students have access to a fitness center, information commons (library), lounge areas and a game room.
“Our students have been receiving their clinical education at Reading Hospital through a long-standing academic affiliation agreement and have been making an impact on medical care in Berks County for decades,” said John Fry, president of Drexel University. “Our new campus will increase their engagement with both patients and the community and provide greater opportunities to train and go on to be leaders in medicine, especially in areas in need of more physicians.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects a nationwide physician shortage of up to 139,000 primary and specialty care physicians by the year 2033. The AAMC also reported that more than half of residents who completed residency training are now practicing in the state where they completed their training.
“This facility would not be possible without the dedication and support of our community and business leaders including Senator Judy Schwank, Representative Mark Gillen, Berks County Commissioners Christian Leinbach, Kevin Barnhardt, and Michael Rivera, the Borough of Wyomissing, Equus Capital Partners, Ltd., and the leadership teams at Tower Health and Drexel University,” said P. Sue Perrotty, Tower Health President and CEO during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the building in July. “Because of their foresight and commitment, our community now offers future physicians the opportunity to learn and train in a state-of-the-art medical school and, at Reading Hospital. We are building both the future of our healthcare and a positive economic impact for the entire region.”
The addition of the school is expected to have many benefits for the Berks community by bringing faculty, staff, students, and families to the Reading area who will patronize stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses in the community. It will also increase job opportunities in health care, education, and other related areas.