WYOMISSING, Pa. — Students arrived on campus for the very first time at the new state-of-the-art Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health in Wyomissing.
"It's just a great day. It's fantastic," said Dr. Karen Restifo, regional vice dean.
Restifo and her colleagues will be looking to help curb a projected shortfall of primary and specialty care physicians nationwide by 2033. That is when the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates a shortage of between 54,100 and 139,000 physicians.
The inaugural class of Drexel students will be heading to the classrooms on Monday.
"The hope is that they will grow to love this community and do residencies here and come back and serve the community as physicians," Restifo said.
Among the students is Reading native Alexis Price-Moyer, who is working toward becoming a surgical oncologist after she said she has lost several family members to cancer.
"If I can prevent just one person from having to experience what I've had, then that's a life worth living," Price-Moyer said.
Also in her class is Davin Evanson from Alberta, Canada.
"I really wanted to be able to help people get back into their daily activities, the things they loved," said Evanson.
"Getting people, though, from communities that represent those communities, that understand those communities, that have the same culture and language as those communities is the next big challenge for American medicine," said Dr. Charles Cairns, Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg dean and senior vice president of medical affairs at Drexel University College of Medicine. "And we want to take that next step here in Reading as part of Drexel."