Posted October 8, 2009

Learning medicine in the Lehigh Valley

At the ceremonial signing, from left to right, Dean John Daly, Richard Anderson, Edmond Notebaert and David Lobach.


Aspiring physicians in the Lehigh Valley can now learn medicine without having to leave home for too long. Temple University School of Medicine and St. Luke's hospital have teamed up to create the first and only medical school program in the Greater Lehigh Valley. The partnership means students will spend their first year at Temple's Philadelphia campus and then finish their medical degree at St. Luke's in Bethlehem.

Temple University’s School of Medicine Dean John M. Daly says the idea behind the $5.5 million dollar program is to train doctors here with the hopes that they'll practice in the area.

“This has become more of a necessity as the population not only grows, but grows older,” said Daly, M.D., FACS, FRCPS, professor of Surgery. “There is a clear need for more physicians in growing areas like the Lehigh Valley.”

Temple has a strong record of keeping medical school students in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Figures reveal that 50 percent of students who train at Temple University School of Medicine remain in the state to practice medicine. Based on that percentage, the new Medical School of Temple University/St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network is expected to add 150 or more qualified, well-trained practicing physicians in the Greater Lehigh Valley in 10 years.

“This new medical school will not only increase the number of doctors who remain in the state to practice, but will also ensure that the quality of care they give their patients will be first-rate because of the outstanding clinical training they will receive within St. Luke’s extensive system of patient care facilities and practice areas,” said Edmond F. Notebaert, Temple’s senior executive vice president of health sciences and president and chief executive officer of the Temple University Health System.

Thirty students will begin the program in August 2011.Special considerations will be given to pre-med students at Lehigh University, Moravian College and Muhlenberg College currently enrolled in the "Early Assurance" program through Temple University and St. Luke's.