There is good news for the medical field and for Louisiana.

Xavier University of Louisiana is planning to open a medical school and a graduate school of health sciences. The school announced the expansion and said that it hopes that this move will diversify the medical field and help curb a physician shortage.

As of right now, this plan will take at least three years but it could ultimately take up to five years since the school is currently still in the research phase of the project.

"We're not in a hurry, because we want to do this well," Reynold Verret, Xavier's president.

Xavier’s pre-med program has been a nationally recognized program for sending more black students to medical school than nearly any other college. Right now the Xavier leadership believes that by adding a medical school to the university it will not only help healthcare but it will also help address the physician shortage that we are currently experiencing.

"It's important that we not only address the physician shortage but that we address the diversity of the physician population," Verret said. "As we learned throughout the pandemic – but we knew beforehand – trust and representation are linked. Trust is an important part of public health and also in addressing health disparities."

Xavier's medical school would join four other medical schools in Louisiana: Tulane University School of Medicine, LSU Health New Orleans, LSU Health Shreveport, and Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM).

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In 1925, Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament founded Xavier to create a more just and humane society for all. Today, that institution holds true to this mission.

A School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Xavier will advance its mission as the university guides students from their undergraduate studies to their selected graduate programs.

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