The partnership between Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM) and St. Luke’s University Health Network has expanded so that incoming students will now complete all four years in Bethlehem. The expansion makes Temple/St. Luke’s Medical School the only four-year medical school regional campus in the Lehigh Valley.
Temple’s LKSOM and St. Luke’s have a long history together, said Joel Rosenfeld, MD, MEd, Chief Academic Officer and Senior Associate Dean. “Medical students have been coming to Bethlehem for their clinical rotations for more than 60 years,” he said.
In 2006, Temple and St. Luke’s opened a clinical campus on its Bethlehem campus where students could complete their third and fourth years. More recently, students have been in Bethlehem for their second, third and fourth years as part of the medical school regional campus. As of this fall, they will complete all four years on the Bethlehem campus.
Class size also has increased. The freshman class that began studying in August and will graduate in May 2024 is the largest yet at 40. The inaugural class of 30 students graduated in May 2015.
“We wanted to expand and be able to do more because of the physician shortage that is widely projected,” Dr. Rosenfeld said. Also, Dr. Rosenfeld said, the partnership has proved beneficial to students and the Lehigh Valley community. Each year, many of the graduates continue with residencies in the St. Luke’s Network and join St. Luke’s staff as attendings when they complete their studies.