TOWER HEALTH & DREXEL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
An Affiliation to Help Address a Shortage of Physicians
When Tower Health and Drexel University College of Medicine entered a 20-year academic affiliation in February 2019, it marked an important milestone in the region’s community health and economic development. As part of the agreement, Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health will open an additional four-year location for the College of Medicine just half a mile from Reading Hospital.
The new facility, welcoming its first students in 2021, will feature state-of-the-art technology in classrooms, learning communities and lecture halls. The campus will include traditional and nontraditional instructional venues where students will advance their medical skills and education via simulated patient rooms, and anatomy laboratories to promote interdisciplinary education with residents, physicians and nurses. The building’s design will promote health and wellness, while encouraging an immersive learning experience. Students will have access to a fitness center with indoor and outdoor recreation space, Information Commons, lounge areas, a game room and café. When fully operational, faculty will educate and train 200 medical students.
The campus will bring faculty, staff, students and families to the Reading area, who will patronize the stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses in our community. It will also increase job opportunities in health care, education and other areas. Equally important, it will help address a looming physician shortage. In addition, Tower Health plans to expand the Residency and Fellowship programs over the next five years to nearly 700 Residents and Fellows in a broad array of clinical specialties and services.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the United States will face a shortage of between 40,800 and 104,900 physicians by 2030.
“It is critical that we meet the growing physician demand throughout our service area,” said Clint Matthews, Tower Health President and CEO. “Studies show that medical students who receive their medical education and residency training in the same location are more likely to live and practice medicine in that community.”
“The medical students at this new location will have the opportunity to learn in a thriving area experiencing economic growth,” said John Fry, Drexel University President. “Reading Hospital is the largest hospital between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, making it the perfect location for our medical students to build emerging skills required by today’s physicians in a state-of-the art facility.”
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