The Medical University of South Carolina Board of Trustees has narrowed its list of candidates for a new president down to the final three.

All three candidates are medical doctors with health care administration experience; two have current or former ties to MUSC.

The candidates are:

Dr. David J. Cole, chairman of surgery at MUSC.

Dr. Joanne Conroy, chief health care officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Dr. Ora H. Pescovitz, executive vice president for medical affairs of the University of Michigan and CEO of the University of Michigan Health System.

Conroy, who now lives in Northern Virginia, worked as an anesthesiologist at MUSC from 1986 to 2001.

MUSC Board Chairman Tom Stephenson said the search committee interviewed all three candidates and seven others in Charlotte two weeks ago. About 50 people applied for the job, he said, and "the overwhelming majority" of those applied from positions outside South Carolina.

The final three candidates will be interviewed on campus this week. The board is required by state law to disclose their names. Stephenson expects the full Board of Trustees will make its final decision "in the next week or two."

"I was very impressed by the caliber of candidates that we had apply for this position," he said.

Former MUSC President Ray Greenberg left the university last year for an executive position within the University of Texas hospital system.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.