Puerto Rico’s Ponce Health Sciences University has recently been given conditional authorization from the U.S. medical schools accrediting body the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) to increase its class size from 90 to 150 students per class.
This increase will set the institution as the most attended medical school in Puerto Rico, in addition to one of the largest private medical schools in the United States.
In addition, Pone Health Sciences will also grow its footprint by working with engineers, architects and contractors to begin construction of an over $80 million campus and medical research facility, making it the largest of its kind on the U.S. territory, according to PR Underground.
“The high quality of our curriculum, the stability of our finances, and the achievements of our students and graduates all contributed to this exciting opportunity to grow our class size,” said Dr. David Lenihan, CEO of Ponce Health Sciences University. “The enhanced ability to serve more students at a new state-of-the-art campus will allow us to ramp up our primary mission: to reduce the clinician shortage in Puerto Rico and the Spanish-speaking clinician shortage in the mainland United States by training diverse and highly qualified medical professionals.”
According to Lenihan, the boost in class size and new campus will represent a “remarkable rebirth” for Ponce Health Sciences after the damage that Hurricane Maria caused the school in 2017. The school’s staff, faculty and students played a major role in Hurricane relief efforts to help residents in the Ponce and southern Puerto Rico area who were affected by Maria, said Ponce Mayor Maria Melendez.
“The support and aid provided by the school were indispensable to my administration after Hurricane Maria, and helped to increase the reach and speed of the services provided to citizens in need,” Melendez added.
Melendez is enthusiastic about the positive impact that the new Ponce Health campus will have on Ponce and its citizens, she said.
“PHSU’s new campus will contribute to a stronger municipal economy by creating direct and indirect jobs for Ponce’s residents,” said Melendez. “The school’s expansion will also result in new and unprecedented medical commerce, medical tourism, and a robust medical industry in Puerto Rico that follows the high standards of the American medical practice that is sought after by the world.”