Marian University preparing for new medical school

The medical school will open this fall.
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We're less than two weeks away from WTHR's Inaugural Health and Fitness Expo. The title sponsor for this year's event is Marian University.

This fall, Marian will become only the second medical school in Indiana - and the university hopes to re-shape the future of health care in Indiana.

"It's very exciting! When I heard about it a couple of years ago, it was one of my top choices as far as applying to medical schools," said Andrew Schroeder, Marian University student.

The new medical school is the big buzz on campus at Marian University, which is located on the west side of Indianapolis. Andrew Schroeder is one of the 162 students proud to be a part of the inaugural class.

"One, I'm already in Indianapolis. I've been here my whole life and I wanted to stay on campus because I like Marian and the campus as a whole," said Schroeder.

University President Daniel Elsener says there's a shortage of primary care physicians in two-thirds of Indiana counties, and he believes having only one medical school in the state at Indiana University is part of the problem.

"What human dignity can you have if you don't take care of basic health care? That's the question. And if we didn't do it, who would?" said Elsener.

Four years ago, the idea for the Michael A. Evans Center for the Health Sciences was born.

Workers are feverishly trying to pull everything together for the August opening of the Evans Center, which sits at the corner of Cold Spring Road and W. 30th St. This will not only serve as home to the College of Osteopathic Medicine, but also the School of Nursing.

"We're hoping our graduates will stay in Indiana, train here and hopefully practice here," said Dr. Paul Evans, College of Osteopathic Medicine founding dean.

Dr. Evans says the school will offer more opportunities to students like CJ Karas. She's a freshman here and considering medicine.

"It gives specifically Marian students a good opportunity because we're already at Marian and of course they'll want us to continue to study at Marian to go on to the osteopathic medicine school," said Karas.

When the Marian University medical school graduates its first class, they'll increase the number of physician graduates in the state by 50 percent - a significant increase in addressing the shortage of doctors, especially in primary care in rural areas.