UC Riverside Celebrates the School of Medicine Education Building

A ceremony Thursday, Dec. 13 officially unveils a building that includes exam rooms and patient simulators

Visitors get a kick out of the patient simulators at the UCR School of Medicine Education Building. Photo by Peter Phun

Visitors get a kick out of the patient simulators at the UCR School of Medicine Education Building. Photo by Peter Phun

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – Community supporters, elected officials and administrators gathered Thursday, Dec. 13 to celebrate the second building affiliated with the UCR School of Medicine.

Visitors toured the School of Medicine Education Building that has been renovated and transformed with a medical simulation laboratory, a 100-seat lecture hall, 10 patient examination rooms and small group discussion rooms. It includes a wall in the entryway that has been dedicated to Dr. Thomas and Mrs. Salma Haider for their ongoing support for the School of Medicine.

“This facility is not merely a building, or a node in the network of campus research, it is the builder of dreams, a vehicle to serve the urgent needs of our community,” said Chancellor Timothy P. White in what is one of his last official appearances at UC Riverside before he goes to lead the California State University system. “From this building will emerge dozens of physicians trained on the ground in this

G. Richard Olds, dean of the UCR School of Medicine and Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown check out patient simulators at the School of Medicine Education Building. Photo by Peter Phun

area – many of them local residents, who understand the experiences and the cultures of their patients.”

Founding School of Medicine Dean and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs G. Richard Olds described the simulation lab, where students, much like airline pilots, will learn and practice their skills on patient simulators created to mimic medical conditions and scenarios they are likely to encounter in the practice of medicine.

UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White talks with community members, including Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey, about the classroom facilities of the School of Medicine. Photo by Peter Phun.

“Yes, this building has lecture halls, but our lecture halls will be used to a lesser degree than traditional medical schools,” Olds said. “Instead, we devoted a larger amount of square feet to small rooms, we call them Problem-Based Learning rooms, where students will actively solve problems, gaining and applying medical knowledge as they will need to when they become practicing physicians.”

Former State Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter noted that the mission of the UCR medical school to diversify the local physician workforce and to improve the health of people living in the region is consistent with the needs of Inland Southern California and the state. “This is a stunning achievement for the campus, its supporters and the community,” she said.

Former State Senator Denise Ducheny, whose former district included the diverse and medically underserved eastern Coachella Valley, spoke of her desire for the area’s youth to receive their medical education at UCR and return to serve their communities. “Four years from now I will come back for the (first) graduating class,” she said.

Other officials who attended included:  newly-elected State Senator Richard Roth; returning Assemblymen V. Manuel Perez, Mike Morrell and Brian Nestande;  and newly-elected Assemblymembers Jose Medina, and  Cheryl Brown.
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone  represented the entire Board of Supervisors who provided financial support from the county, as did newly-seated Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey and City Councilman Andy Melendrez. The city and the Chamber of Commerce are longtime supporters of the School of Medicine.

The UCR School of Medicine is currently accepting applications for its first class of M.D. students. It is listed on the American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®), the national central application processing service.

The foundation of the UCR School of Medicine is the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences, which for more than 30 years has partnered with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to train physicians. Students enrolled in the current program complete their first two years of medical school at UCR before transferring to the UCLA medical school to complete their final two years and receive their M.D. degrees. The UCR School of Medicine will offer all four years of medical education.

Establishment of the UCR School of Medicine was approved by the University of California Board of Regents in July 2008 and Olds, the founding dean, was appointed in February 2010. Two UCR buildings are completed and ready to accept new medical students and new faculty – the new School of Medicine Research Building and the renovated School of Medicine Education Building.

The medical school also operates a Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences, a long-standing graduate degree program at UCR. Additionally, the medical school will develop a range of residency training programs, the post-M.D. education required for doctors to become board certified in their specialties.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-2495
E-mail: kris.lovekin@ucr.edu
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Additional Contacts

Kathy Barton
Tel: (951) 827-4598
E-mail: kathryn.barton@ucr.edu

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