Natisha Venzen, Broadside Correspondent

Students pursuing careers in medicine may have just found their golden ticket. Say hello to “George Squared.”

According to George Mason University Provost Dr. Peter Stearns, George Squared is a partnership between George Mason and Georgetown medical schools to find ways to develop and deliver medical education programs based on Mason’s Prince William Campus.

“Georgetown will provide the medical strength and George Mason will provide strength in areas like biomedical technology, proteomics and other aspects of medical related research,” said Stearns.

The collaboration will additionally generate a joint certificate program next year designed for people who are hoping to improve their preparation for medical school, and in the following year, that is fall 2011, we will open a joint masters program also designed for people heading in the health professions,” Stearns continued. George Squared promises to be an exciting collaboration of schools that medical students will soon be able to take advantage of.

“We have really good professors from George Mason and Georgetown, and with this partnership, teachers from both colleges will be training these students, and people who go through this training will have [a] top notch education,” said Abigail Perez, a freshman nursing major.

With the economy in a recession, the financial aspect of George Squared had to be considered.

“[The cost of George Squared] was a negotiation between the two schools headed from the Mason stand point by Dean Chandhoke, the dean of [the] College of Science, and we will actually make money on it,” said Stearns. “The tuitions for these programs is going to be fairly high and we expect that it will more than cover the cost to deliver the programs.”

Students involved in George Squared “will be doing work on anatomy, biomedical technologies, biomedical statistics and information systems, [and] medical research, for example in the cancer area, and a whole variety of topics leading towards the kind of first year program that medical students need,” said Stearns.

As far as additional buildings for these programs on the Prince William Campus go, Stearns said, “We can handle it within our existing facilities because the new bio-containment laboratory is opening up, which allows us to free up some space in existing buildings on the Prince William Campus.

“If the program expands, which we quite frankly hope, we would need some new facilities on the Prince William [Campus], but the first stages we can handle,” said Stearns.

Freshman nursing major Julie Whitacre said, “I think [George Squared] is a really good idea. By combining both George Mason and Georgetown, it opens up a lot of doors for a lot of different knowledge that both schools can contribute to the overall achievement of the student.”