Keck Graduate Institute receives $5 million to start new medical school, searches for founding dean

A Keck Graduate Institute building with a sigh in from of it displaying the KGI name and logo.
Keck Graduate Institute is starting to plan its new medical school, and is recruiting candidates for the founding dean position. (Courtesy: Keck Graduate Institute)

With $5 million in funding already secured, Keck Graduate Institute is starting to plan its new medical school “to meet the increasing demand for primary care physicians in Southern California,” according to a press release.

Of the 7,176 noted areas in the U.S. with a shortage of primary-care physicians, nine percent are located in California, according to an informational report on KGI’s new school.

KGI’s upcoming medical school aims to address this issue.

“We are excited and eager to bring world-class medical training to future physicians and are especially grateful for this donor’s vision and support of what will ultimately mean better health services and improved access to care for our community and many others,” KGI President Sheldon Schuster said in the press release.

A preliminary proposal for the med school was approved by the KGI Board of Trustees in May 2018, following a grant from an anonymous donor to cover recruitment and hiring of the new dean, according to KGI’s website.

KGI has begun recruiting candidates for its founding dean position, Schuster said via email.

Plans for the new facilities and completion date have not been announced yet, as they depend on the dean’s hire and the school’s accreditation, according to Schuster.

When hired, the dean will work with chief development officer Molly Chestnut “to begin a philanthropic outreach campaign to further fund the faculty development and facilities required to meet the accreditation standards,” Schuster said via email.

That campaign will be the first of three fundraising phases aiming to raise more than $50 million for the new school, according to a publication on the med school’s website.

Currently, KGI offers a Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate program for students planning to attend medical school, according to its website.

Joanna Manansala KG ’19, a pre-medical student, said the development of a medical school demonstrates the graduate school’s “dedication to health sciences and medicine, especially in California, where there is a high shortage of doctors, and especially near the Inland Empire, where that shortage is very pronounced.”

Manansala said many current and prospective students are already interested in the medical school.

“It’s already a big deal,” she said. “It will bring a lot of educational esteem to KGI and the Claremont Colleges.”

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