New Ohio State Program Designed to Increase the Number of Physicians Practicing in Rural Communities

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In an effort to increase the number of physicians caring for patients in mid-sized and rural communities, The Ohio State University College of Medicine is partnering with Bon Secours Mercy Health to launch a new pathway training in community medicine to prepare physicians to practice medicine in less densely populated areas.

Medical students in the Community Medicine stream, slated to start in 2024, will benefit from the innovative Lead.Serve.Inspire program at The Ohio State College of Medicine and the community care expertise of Bon Secours Mercy Health. The program is the result of the Healthy State Alliance, a strategic initiative between Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Mercy Health to meet Ohio’s most critical health needs.

“The Community Medicine Stream in Medicine offers a new option for prospective medical students who want to practice medicine in a community setting,” said Dr. Carol R. Bradford, Dean of the Ohio State College of Medicine. “In addition to educating medical students to provide high-quality, safe, and compassionate patient care, emphasis will be placed on developing students to become engaged leaders in the communities where they serve.”

The Ohio State College of Medicine will begin enrolling medical students in the Community Medicine stream in 2024. They will complete the first two years of training at The Ohio State University in Columbus and complete the remaining two years of basic clinical training at within Mercy Health – St. Rita Medical Center in Lima.

The program will also emphasize student learning in an interprofessional team environment where they will learn and work alongside clinicians and students in pharmacy, nursing, therapy, social work, and behavioral health. . This allows students to gain a holistic perspective of the value that each discipline offers to healthcare and how collaborative team-based care improves patient outcomes.

“Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center is proud to have provided high quality, compassionate health care in our communities for more than a century and together with The Ohio State College of Medicine, we stand ready to ensure that we will continue this mission for the next 100 years,” said Ronda K. Lehman, president of Mercy Health – Lima. Rita’s and Ohio State have worked collaboratively on a number of important healthcare initiatives in Lima. Now, we continue that collaboration as we celebrate our shared vision to train future generations of healthcare professionals.

The Community Medicine MD stream is designed to address the growing shortage of physicians practicing in small communities in Ohio and across the country.

“Before the coronavirus pandemic, the country faced a significant rural healthcare crisis, with 20% of the population living in rural communities but only about 11% of doctors practicing there,” the president said. of Ohio State, Kristina M. Johnson. “The Healthy State Alliance will help close this gap, and this initiative builds on the State of Ohio’s commitment to people and communities across the state. In partnership with Bon Secours Mercy Health, the State of Ohio will strive to train the next generation of community physicians, building on our enduring land-grant commitment and helping to improve the overall quality of life for all Ohioans. .

The Healthy State Alliance collaboration has increased access to advanced care, close to home with the opening of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center transplant clinics at Mercy Health facilities in Lima and Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as the Affiliation of Mercy Health Cancer Centers in Lima, Springfield, and Lorain, Ohio with The Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and The Richard J. Solove Research Institute for Cancer Care cancer.


Media Contact: Serena Smith, Wexner Medical Center Media Relations, [email protected]

Media Contact: Erica Blake, Mercy Health Media Relations, [email protected]

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