With physician shortages expected to top 100,000 nationally by the end of the decade, the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix is doing its part to help meet the needs of Arizona citizens.

The fifth class of students began studies at the downtown Phoenix this week and are on their way to becoming part of the solution.

The expansion to Phoenix of the medical school in Tucson was developed as Arizona saw the growing physician shortage in the state's two largest cities, as well as in the rural areas.

Research in 2005 found the state in the bottom half of the nation in number of physicians per capita and well behind the national average.

The medical school is poised to grow again in 2012 with the completion of the Health Sciences Education Building.

The latest class of students was selected from a group of more than 600 applicants and completed the multiple interview process being used by a handful of medical schools.

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