The new $65 million University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Lake Nona’s “medical city” will mark its first official event Aug. 2 when the college holds its “White Coat Ceremony” for its second class of 60 students.

The event will showcase the college’s new 170,000-square-foot medical education building, including a 356-seat main auditorium, and new lab and classroom technology. It was constructed within its budget and on time.

“We designed our building to be iconic, to be a welcoming, life-giving magnet for the Central Florida community we serve,” said Dr. Deborah German, UCF vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine.

The UCF College of Medicine education building is the first to start from scratch in the United States in more than 30 years, according to UCF. The medical school has planned the new campus, achieved preliminary accreditation, obtained full scholarships for its inaugural class of 41 students and received donated funds and land from the community to help construct the first two buildings on the health sciences campus in four years.

The building has a clinical skills and simulation center with 12 examination rooms, which have computerized mannequins, video recording and computer monitoring that allow faculty members to observe and evaluate students in action.

Its anatomy lab has 22 dissection tables with ceiling-mounted computer terminals over each table so students can access anatomical information during dissection. Digital cameras allow the professor to record subject matter during a dissection and then link it simultaneously to every terminal in the lab and to lecture halls three floors down. Mitsubishi designed the computer screens above the dissection tables for the college, which are the first-of-their-kind in the nation.

A 5,300-square-foot microscopy lab will let students compare normal and abnormal tissues simultaneously using virtual digitized slides. The laboratory also allows groups of students to study traditional slides through a 10-headed microscope equipped with digital image capture and multiple video monitors.

The Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library houses medical and research reference materials for the entire health sciences campus. It has access to more than 3.2 million holdings, with 98 percent in digital form. The library features an open computerized study commons plus multiple problem-based learning rooms for students and faculty members, as well as an extensive collection of health information for consumers.

The college also announced July 28 that UCF has been designated an official site where community members can will their bodies to train local medical students. Until now, people who wanted to will their bodies to medical science had to have their remains sent to the University of Florida in Gainesville or the University of Miami.

Source: Orlando Business Journal, UCF med school opens to students Aug. 2