HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - William Carey University's proposed College of Osteopathic medicine is expected to become the 30th such school in the United States.
University and Hattiesburg area officials broke ground on phase one of the medical school Thursday, ushering in a new period of growth for the University and the Hub City.
President of William Carey Tommy King said, "Yes, it's a great day, maybe the greatest day since the school was founded."
The school will start with 100 students per class. They will be trained to become physicians focusing on primary care.
Michael Murphy will serve as Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
"The next step will be going through provisional accreditation, ribbon cutting, interviewing and taking our first students," said Murphy. "And the other great part will be graduating our first students" He added, "Hopefully that will happen this time of year in 2014."
Not only will the medical school address a health care worker shortage, but it will boost the Hattiesburg area economy.
"It's been said that it will be the equivalent of attracting a fortune 500 company here and so we are just terribly exited about it for us at William Carey and for Hattiesburg the community," said King.
Hattiesburg's mayor, Johnny DuPree is also excited about the benefits the medical school could bring to the Hub City.
"It allows people to come to Hattiesburg, to see what Hattiesburg is about so as far as recruiting businesses and developing neighborhoods. It's puts us on the top of the heap," said Dupree.