Q&A: Lawrence Smith, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine

November 11, 2014
Q&A: Lawrence Smith, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine

Lawrence Smith, Dean, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine

In September 2013, Dr. Lawrence Smith – founding dean of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine – discussed with LIBN a 64,000-square-foot medical school expansion. Fourteen months later, he’s focused on a different kind of expansion, while keeping an eye on global Ebola developments.
What are your views on the Ebola situation?

The threat of Ebola is very scary, but the reality is reassuring at this time. As long as we deal with one-off cases where we recognize and monitor the patient, we’re in good shape.

What’s changed at the medical school since you opened in 2011?
We got a lot more students. We started with a class of 40. The first-year class this year is 100 and we’ll continue to have 100 a year. We almost completed our second building and we’ll take occupancy in the late winter. We’ll place students in residency programs and have our first graduation May 11.

What kinds of medicine will they practice?
It’s a pretty typical distribution of medical and surgical fields, some primary care and some more specialized. There’s no single theme.

Do you have any sense of how many will work at North Shore-LIJ or stay on Long Island?
I absolutely don’t. That’s Match Day, where every medical student finds out at the same moment where they go for their residency. A computer matches them.

What have the first few years taught you?
We’ve learned that our innovative curriculum has worked. [But] it’s been a challenge to keep up with the school’s increasing size.

How involved are students in North Shore-LIJ today?
We’ve got 100 students doing advanced clinical training at North Shore and Long Island Jewish Hospital. That’s been a big positive step. Every day, anybody working in those buildings will see students from our medical school.

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