The University of the Virgin Islands started construction on a new School of Medicine (SOM) on its St. Croix Campus. The school hopes to get preliminary accreditation this summer in advance of its intended July 2017 opening.

The 33,000+ square-foot building, will house seminar rooms, anatomy/physiology and clinical skill labs, and more.  The anatomy lab will feature a Anatomage Table for anatomy education using technologically advanced visualization. The Anatomage Table is sufficient to cover the full anatomy class. A separate 21,000 square-foot Medical School Simulation Center will house surgical skills labs, simulation rooms and conference and lecture spaces.

“The classroom building and the simulation center will be the key places where the future physicians for the Virgin Islands will be trained,” James Tunick, vice chairman for the Board of the Foundation of the University of the Virgin Islands he said. “The medical school project will not only improve the quality of health care in the Virgin Islands, but will serve as an economic catalyst for growth and diversification in the Territory.”

SOM Dean Dr. Benjamin Sachs said the School’s mission is to incorporate advances in pedagogy so graduates will be life-long learners, solution finders, team players and educators. “We have set out to build a very different type of medical school,” he said. “One that we believe will train physicians to be better able to meet the needs of the people of the US Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean. We also believe that the School of Medicine can become a national role model for high quality, innovative, and cost-effective medical education.”