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The College of Medicine at FIU arose from a community need for access to medical education and a regional need to address a shortage of physicians. The initiative to establish the college began in July 5th 2004, when the university first proposed the concept to the Board of Regents (a committee appointed by the governor, similar to the current Board of Governors). The decision was postponed and later that year the Board of Regents was dissolved by the governor.

Green Library

The university continued to build its case for a medical school based on the need for better access to medical education and patient care as well as the ability to reduce health disparities in the community. In November of 2005, the Board of Governors heard presentations from both FIU and University of Central Florida for the creation of two new Florida medical schools. The decision was postponed until the March 2006 when the South Florida community was awarded a public College of Medicine in Miami at Florida International University. Most Recently, the college received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which allows the school to accept the first class of future doctors in the fall of 2009.

The birth of South Florida's first public medical school
A timeline of events leading up to the admittance of the first class 

1995 Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recommends the number of U.S. medical school graduates be expanded by 30 percent in the next decade.

University develops a 10-year strategic plan, making health education, medical education and biomedical research FIU's top priorities.


FIU establishes a College of Health and Urban Affairs, which contains a School of Public Health and a School of Nursing, and invests in the growth of its biomedical research and biomedical engineering programs.


The FIU Medical School Planning Task Force commences a feasibility study and implementation report.


FIU Board of Trustees approves university plan for medical school. This vote coincides with AAMC's call to increase number of medical school graduates through enrollment increases and up to eight new medical schools.

March 2006   Florida Board of Governors and Florida Legislature approve creation of FIU's College of Medicine.
November 2006   University selects John Rock, MD, MPH, as Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and the Founding Dean of the College of Medicine.
August 2007 North Dade Medical Foundation makes a gift of $5 million to the College of Medicine. With state matching funds, it becomes a $10 million endowment for scholarships and the medical school's first endowed chairs..
September 2007 FIU and the Florida Department of Health sign an agreement to relocate the department's Miami-Dade headquarters to FIU.
May 28, 2008   College of Medicine receives a $10 million gift from Benjamin León Jr., founder of Leon Medical Centers, to establish the Benjamin León, Jr. Family Center for Geriatric Research and Education. This is among the largest gifts ever made by a Cuban-American family to a U.S. university, the largest made to FIU, and the first to name a center of the College of Medicine. The gift is eligible for matching dollars under the State of Florida Major Gifts Trust Fund, increasing its total impact to $20 million.
June 2008 First applications for the inaugural class are received.
June 24, 2009 The Green Family Foundation, a private, non-profit organization that supports social programs dedicated to improving community health and elevating universal socio-economic conditions, donates $10 million, including state match, to fund a community medicine program, the Green Family Foundation Medicine and Society Program that will become a cornerstone of Florida International University's Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.
August 3, 2009   Inaugural class of medical students' first day.
August 7, 2009   White Coat Ceremony for the inaugural class.
August 10, 2009 First day of classes for students.
May 13, 2010 The College kicks off the Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP™.
August 2010 The class of 2014 matriculates with 43 students.
December 2010 FIU and HWCOM were deemed compliant by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
June 2011 LCME conferred the College's Provisional Accreditation.
August 5, 2011 The College welcomed the Class of 2015 with 82 medical students.
August 2011 The Faculty Group Practice opened a facility on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.

The Albert and Debbie Tano Medical Simulation Center at the College was named in honor of the Tano’s contribution.


Florida Board of Governors approves a doctoral degree in Basic Biomedical Sciences program.

August 2012

The College’s doctoral degree in Basic Biomedical Sciences enrolls its first PhD students.

    The College enrolls its first full class 120 students as part of its Class of 2016.

Community Support:

The College of Medicine initiative garnered the support of key segments of the business community: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, The Beacon Council, the Miami Herald Editorial Board, the Latin Builders Association and the Miami-Dade County Commission. In addition, the Board of Directors of the Dade County Medical Association, which represents approximately 1,700 physicians, has offered its support.