JOPLIN — Discussion has begun on the possibility of creating a medical school that would be located at Missouri Southern State University.
The new program could potentially address the physician shortage in the southern half of the state. Almost 70 percent of Missouri counties lack necessary primary care, mental or dental health providers based on the county's population, according to a release from Gov. Jay Nixon's office.
Under the plan, Missouri Southern would partner with Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences to create a four-year osteopathic medical doctorate program in Joplin. The program will not cost taxpayers anything, the planners said.
Officials say the program would bring an economic boost to southwest Missouri, with 150 students entering the program each year and 60 percent relocating with their families to the area.