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Health, Science & Environment

Ohio State will use a community medicine track to add rural doctors

Darko Stojanovic

The Ohio State University College of Medicine announced Thursday a new community medicine MD track designed to increase the number of doctors practicing in rural communities.

Medical students participating in the program will train for two years in Columbus before completing the remaining two years of core clinical training at Mercy Health - St. Rita's Medical Center in Lima.

Ohio State University President Kristina Johnson points to the statistic that 20% of people live in rural areas, but only about 11% of physicians practice there.

"Our new community medicine MD track will help reverse this trend," Johnson said. "Graduates of the program will have not only world-class medical education will have experienced in primary care settings and the tools to make an impact on the health of their entire community."

Dr. Carol Bradford, dean of the Ohio State College of Medicine, said students in the program will learn and work alongside clinicians from multiple disciplines.

"They will gain a holistic perspective of each disciplines value to health care, they will understand how team based collaborative care improves patient outcomes," Bradford said.

The program is scheduled to begin in 2024.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.