Work on Dublin's first medical campus is progressing.

Work on Dublin's first medical campus is progressing.

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine received approval Dec. 7 to begin recruiting its charter class as renovation plans for 7001 and 7003 Post Road reached final stages.

The OK from the Commission on Osteopath College Accreditation to find its first class for the planned July 2014 opening will allow the new OU campus on Dublin's west side to find students who plan to stay in the area beyond college.

"We'd like to take young people from central Ohio, train them in central Ohio in medicine and residency and have them serve the people of Ohio," said Dublin campus dean, Kenneth Johnson. "If they go to medical school and do their residency in the state, there is a significant likelihood of them staying in the state."

A shortage of general care doctors is being predicted for the next 10 to 15 years, Johnson said, and the new college campus will work to make a dent in that.

The new campus is also looking to the future when it comes to educational space.

OU took possession of three buildings at 7001 and 7003 Post Road this fall that will provide about 65,000 square feet altogether.

"One of the things we have the opportunity to do with this building is make something from almost nothing," Johnson said. "We have a shell of a building and the opportunity to focus on medical education innovation."

Instead of typical college classrooms for lecture-based instruction, Johnson said OU is opting for learning labs that will give students a team-based learning experience that will allow of problem-solving and discussions.

"We're trying to anticipate the direction of medical education in the next 10 to 15 years," he said.

The Dublin and Athens OU campuses will also be linked for more educational opportunities, he said.

"I might be on the Athens campus talking about heart disease," Johnson said. "I'd be talking to students here and there (in Dublin). We'd have a facilitator on site so students can ask questions and have the same level of access."

The design phase for the Dublin campus is nearly completed and Johnson said renovations are expected to start in March and take about a year to complete.

"We'll have large group spaces, small group spaces and then there's a bunch of faculty space there as well. There will be nearly three dozen faculty and staff on site," he said.

Work is also planned outside the buildings to transform the area into a college campus, Johnson said.

"As we work on the physical outlay of the site, it will start to look more like a college campus," he said. "There will be pathways between buildings, a place for students to study and congregate outside. It's what you would see on a typical college campus."

Renovations are expected to be completed by the time 50 students start four years of medical training in Dublin.

Education will include two years of education on clinical medicine in the classroom and two years of learning in the field.

"The second two years will be coordinated from that campus with the Athens campus and they'll be placed in central Ohio for their clinical experience," Johnson said. "We're partnering with Ohio Health and they're working to expand capacity for medical education in the central Ohio area."