BETHLEHEM – Sixty medical students were honored at a holiday reception hosted by Richard A. Anderson, President & CEO of St. Luke's University Health Network, and Joel C. Rosenfeld, MD, M. Ed, FACS, Chief Academic Officer of St. Luke's University Health Network & Senior Associate Dean of The Temple University School of Medicine .

More than 150 guests welcomed the students who comprise the first two years of the Temple/St. Luke's Medical School. Guests included St. Luke's administrators, trustees, donors and members of the medical staff. The gala was held at Saucon Valley Country Club.

"Within the next decade, experts project a nation-wide shortage of 100,000 physicians. To ensure Lehigh Valley residents continue to have easy access to medical care, St. Luke's has partnered with Temple University School of Medicine to create the Temple/St. Luke's Medical School clinical campus, said Dr. Rosenfeld. "In 10 years, The Temple/St. Luke's Medical School could add 150 qualified, well-trained physicians to our community."

He continued, "Training young physicians is extremely rewarding on a professional and personal level and knowing that St. Luke's with our partner Temple University School of Medicine is able to provide highly-trained physicians into our community in the near future is reassuring. With the current population aging and needing medical care now more than ever, Temple/St. Luke's Medical School is investing in the region's health care far into the future."

Internationally-renowned melanoma expert and Bethlehem resident Sanjiv Agarwala, MD, Section Chief of Hematology/Oncology for St. Luke's University Health Network, was in attendance – and was proud of his son Anshul Agarwala, class of 2015.

"I am absolutely delighted that my son chose to be a student at the Temple/St. Luke's Regional campus among the several choices he had," said Dr. Agarwala. "Being a physician at St. Luke's, I know the students here have a tremendous opportunity to learn in a friendly environment with personal attention from dedicated clinician teachers and exposure to patients in a wide variety of scenarios. I am very hopeful that he will choose to stay in the region and apply the clinical skills he learns here to benefit our community."

Michael Patriarco, DO, Section Chief of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery, attended the event with his wife Carolyn and son Jeremy who is part of the class of 2016. The Patriarco family lives in Allentown.

"The partnership between Temple and St. Luke's offers the medical students the ability to learn from an enthusiastic faculty eager to share their knowledge and skills, with strong administrative support, in a facility with leading edge technology comparable to any large, urban facility, all coupled with the ambience of a tight knit community," said Dr. Patriarco. "Due to the small class size, the students receive more individualized training and interaction with faculty, which helps to develop these young men and women into the finest and best-trained physicians out there."