Florida International University reported on Thursday that its Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine has been granted full accreditation.
The university says the announcement comes as the Wertheim College of Medicine graduates its first class of 33 students, who are now eligible for medical residency programs.
"FIU can now move forward in providing a high quality medical education," said Albert Maury, chairman of the FIU Board of Trustees. "We are well on our way to building a world-class medical school."
Additionally, FIU said the Liaison Committee on Medical Education was awarded full accreditation Thursday, saying the College of Medicine had met all of the required steps to become a full-fledged medical school.
"With this accreditation we honor the commitment we made to the Board of Governors, our governor and to the State Legislature to build a public state-of-the-art medical school dedicated to community health," said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. "This is the most important milestone in the history of our College of Medicine and one of the most significant moments in the history of FIU."
The university said interviews are currently under way for its fifth class, as 120 physician candidates will chosen from 3,946 applicants.
"Accreditation allows our students to realize their dreams of becoming licensed medical doctors," said Dr. John Rock, founding dean of the Wertheim College of Medicine and senior vice-president for health affairs at FIU.
FIU says medical schools must complete a five-step process to become fully accredited by the LCME. The university says HWCOM has undergone this accreditation process in the fastest time possible.