New Quinnipiac medical school starts classes Monday

After years of planning, Quinnipiac University’s medical school will hold its first classes Monday.

The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, located on the university’s North Haven campus, has 60 students in its first class.

“The need for well-educated and highly trained physicians has never been greater,” said Dr. Bruce Koeppen, a former UConn medical school official who is founding dean of the Netter medical school and vice president of health affairs. He said the new medical school “is poised to develop physicians who will become integral members of patient-centered health care teams, working closely with other health professionals to provide comprehensive care.”

The campus, which Quinnipiac bought from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, also houses the university’s schools of nursing and health sciences.

The medical school has 22 full-time faculty members and 298 clinical faculty. Its principal clinical partner is St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport.

Officials launched plans for the school with the goal of graduating doctors who pursue primary care, a field that is expected to need more doctors, particularly as more people get health insurance as part of federal health reform. Although the school can’t dictate what fields its students pursue, officials have said their admissions and training procedures will be aimed at identifying students with an interest in primary care.

Netter, the school’s namesake, was a well-known medical illustrator whose work has been widely used in medical education.