California School of Podiatric Medicine Returns to its Roots as College with New Name

Samantha Bronson

The California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt University has changed its name to better reflect both its history and its connection with the premier health sciences university. One of only 11 podiatric medicine programs in the country, the school will now be known as the Samuel Merritt University College of Podiatric Medicine, effective March 31, 2023.

“This is the natural evolution of who we are,” said Eric Stamps, dean of the College of Podiatric Medicine. “We are retaining our history, and we are aligning our identity within Samuel Merritt University.” Established in San Francisco in 1914 as the California College of Chiropody, the name was updated in 1969 to the California College of Podiatric Medicine. With the 2002 merger with Samuel Merritt College, the name was changed to the California School of Podiatric Medicine. Now that Samuel Merritt has become a University with colleges of Nursing and Health Sciences, the decision was made to upgrade CSPM to the Samuel Merritt University College of Podiatric Medicine.

The new name is a nod to its history while also cementing its link with Samuel Merritt University. In recent years, both students and alumni have identified more with the SMU name rather than the California School of Podiatric Medicine. Additionally, prospective students seek out Samuel Merritt University specifically, as its reputation as a world-class institution grows nationwide.

By becoming a college, the College of Podiatric Medicine also better aligns with the structure of SMU. It is now one of three colleges, each with its own dean and academic programs. Together, the College of Podiatric Medicine, the College of Nursing, and the College of Health Sciences allow Samuel Merritt University to bring a robust offering of health science degrees to California and beyond.

“We are proud to have a college of podiatric medicine at Samuel Merritt University,” said SMU president Ching-Hua Wang. “The uniformity of having the college as one of three colleges within the university allows podiatric medicine to fully leverage the SMU brand identity with prospective students, healthcare and medical device partners, and alumni in the future.”

Apart from the change in name, the College of Podiatric Medicine remains the same stellar institution. At its core is a rigorous curriculum in the basic medical and clinical sciences combined with hands-on learning experiences that begin in a student’s second year — a full year earlier than in other podiatric medicine programs. Students gain clinical experience in a variety of facilities and provide care to patients of all ages and backgrounds, in line with SMU’s mission to connect with and learn from underserved communities.

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