New OU Med School Dean Says It Brings Value To Area

Published On: Oct 02 2011 04:32:21 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 08 2011 07:01:41 AM EDT

Oakland University is now home to Michigan's first privately funded medical school.

An open house was held Monday at OU's William Beaumont School of Medicine.

Dean Robert Folberg said he planned to welcome 50 students Monday morning at the school's Rochester campus.

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Folberg said the school definitely brings much value to the area.

"I'm not from this area, alright, so when I come to this area and find out that there is the largest concentration of engineering talent in southeast Michigan, you ask yourself then why aren't medical devices being designed and manufactured here?" Folberg said.

Amanda Xi, 21, of West Bloomfield, said she was excited to start her career in medicine at Oakland.

"I feel amazing, like I don't even know how to describe it," Xi said.

Xi said she was born at Royal Oak's Beaumont Hospital and it was fitting for her to got o medical school in the Beaumont system.

"I'm a Beaumont baby," Xi said. "I decided that it was a really good fit for me to come back and to start my medical training where I began my life."

Xi has a blog chronicling her experience:

Discussions between Oakland University, Beaumont Hospital and community leaders eventually led to the conclusion that their combined faculty, staff and infrastructure resources would provide a strong base to build a new medical school.

The hospital's board and university trustees approved an initiative to fund a new medical school in 2008.

Oakland University is one of 15 public universities in Michigan and has an enrollment of more than 18,000. Beaumont Hospital is a teaching and research facility.