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University of Florida debuts state-of-the-art medical education building

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Published on Aug 5, 2015

After years of planning and construction, a historic day for the University of Florida has arrived with the unveiling of the nation’s premier medical education facility.

The George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building, which opens its doors to students July 29, is designed to support the UF College of Medicine’s updated medical education curriculum as well as the training of students from the other UF Health Science Center colleges and staff from UF Health to ensure the highest level of patient care. The 95,000-square-foot space will provide a dynamic environment for all learners as they hone the skills necessary to respond to society’s changing health care landscape.

“This new building provides a model for the entire university — architecturally and pedagogically. In this model, teaching is an important driver of our university’s rise among the best universities in the country,” said Kent Fuchs, Ph.D., president of the University of Florida. “And with this rise, our medical students and health care providers throughout UF Health become ever more prepared to care for patients and to join all UF graduates in helping to bring prosperity and health to the world.”

The $46 million facility, located on the north edge of the UF Health Science Center campus on Newell Drive across from the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute, includes spaces for collaboration, quiet study and reflection, and hands-on interprofessional and team-based education.

“The Harrell Medical Education Building embodies the commitment by the University of Florida and UF Health to medical and health care education of the highest order,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health. “The building exemplifies how to design a space around a forwarding-looking curriculum. It will provide an identity that our students and faculty can be proud of as they set the standard for medical education.”

Named after the college’s visionary founding dean who pioneered the expansion of the UF Health Science Center in the 1950s, the four-story building features a specially designed atrium surrounded by glass, metal and wood accents, providing a bright and welcoming entrance that fosters interaction among students, trainees, faculty and staff. The first floor includes two 4,600-square-foot circular learning studios wired to accommodate collaborative and applied learning activities as well as the medical school admissions office and the H. James Free, M.D., Center for Primary Care Education and Innovation, reflecting the college’s commitment to primary care within the state of Florida.

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