California Northstate University (CNU) is a new institution dedicated to educating, developing, and training individuals to provide competent, patient-centered care. The University was developed after the successful launch of the College of Pharmacy. The founders of the College of Pharmacy built a progressive program that includes active learning, direct patient experiences, and research.
Senior operations staff at the College of Pharmacy began discussions for a new medical school in the greater Sacramento area early in the spring of 2010 as a result of several recent publications and studies which indicated the need for an increase in the number of primary care physicians trained in California. With the recent federal health care initiatives in combination with the needs of the aging baby-boomer population, primary care physicians are seeing ever increasing patient loads. It was also recognized that as a result of the financial crisis facing California, the State has been unable to increase the number of medical students trained by the state. CNU College of Medicine (CNUCOM) will directly help the primary care physician shortage in California.
It is the goal of the University as a whole to create life-long learners that are trained to serve the community as leaders in health care science, education, and research. With this goal in mind, senior officials at the University have developed a strategic plan that addresses education, partnership, and scholarship.
Much of the preliminary design of the structure of the College of Medicine and its curriculum was in place by June/July 2011. As part of this process, community leaders in medicine within the Sacramento Valley were engaged in a series of meetings to plan the outlines and address the key issues to be covered in the medical school curriculum. This core group established broad outlines of the curriculum and structure of the College of Medicine and also served as members of the Institutional Self-Study Task Force. They were visionary and demanded that this new school stress areas of training frequently ignored or understated by many medical schools. Many brought 20-30 years of experience in direct medical practice in the highly competitive Sacramento region to provide insight on how to best train future physicians. They noted that our nation is poised to institute new schemes for providing universal health care to its citizens and, at the same time, provide care that is high quality, cost-effective, and evidence-based.