MU Expands Rural Training Program for Future Physicians
With a shortage of physicians and an aging population, rural Missouri needs more doctors. Meanwhile, students at the University of Missouri School of Medicine benefit from increased opportunities for hands-on clinical instruction. In August, three new training sites will help provide opportunities for students to train in rural areas while increasing the likelihood they might later return to serve rural Missouri communities.
Through MU Area Health Education Center (AHEC) rural track clerkships, 21 MU medical students will travel to communities across Missouri for up to six months of clinical training this year. The network of rural health education centers is using the one-time state funding awarded in 2009 to help with the startup costs of launching medical student training sites in Lebanon, West Plains and Maryville. Funding helped establish student housing, equipped the rural sites with technology to remotely connect students with medical school instructors in Columbia, and extended the AHEC network of community-based faculty members.