Bill would add 40 slots at U. medical school

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The University of Utah Medical School is on course to add 20 new slots for students in the coming year and 20 more the following year under a bill moving through the Legislature.

The new positions will cost $6.5 million in the first year and a total of $10 million in the second phase, bringing the total number of medical students in the program to 122.

"Access to this sort of knowledge is a precious commodity. It's an expensive commodity, I'll grant you that, but it's precious," said Rep. Michael Kennedy, R-Alpine, who is a doctor. "More important than that is the ability to take this knowledge and use it for the benefit of our citizens."

The bill passed the House 70-4. The Senate still has to agree to an amendment added to the House staggering the 40 new slots before the bill goes to the governor.

Robert Gehrke