A new family medicine program created by MU aiming to combat the shortage of rural health practitioners has earned accreditation and will be based in Sedalia.
The program will enhance the MU School of Medicine Rural Track Pipeline and fit within a federal initiative to increase the number of physicians in rural areas across 21 states.
Two fourth-year medical students will be recruited to spend the second and third years of their residency at the Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia.
“When you train doctors in rural communities, they’re more likely to go back to practice in a rural community,” said Laura Morris, the associate program director at the MU Family Medicine Residency Program. “That’s why we think this program will help us get doctors to rural areas of our state.”
The partnership between the MU School of Medicine and the Bothwell Regional Health Center is the first in state. It offers the residents a long-term, single-site learning environment offering community training.
“It’s a really broad-spectrum residency, and it covers everything from prenatal care, newborn care, pediatric and well-child and sick child care, adult medicine, hospital medicine, procedures, labor, delivery and nursing home,” Morris said. “Like all the way from cradle to grave.”
Accreditation means the program has met all the educational standards and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education standards. Morris said the process is rigorous and labor intensive. It took two years to design the program and then apply for the accreditation, she said.
“It’s a really strict standard and a lot of paperwork, a lot of hours,” Morris said. “We had a site visit from one of their inspectors, and we submitted our application back in the spring and had a site visit and got our approval a little bit ago this spring.”
Family medicine is a specialty well suited for patients in rural areas because of the broad training they receive, Morris said.
The program is expected to begin training in 2022, which help ensure that the residents are ready to enter independent clinical practice in July 2025.