A critical shortage of physicians is looming in the United States. The situation in Kentucky is especially dire, especially in rural areas. Class size constraints have resulted in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine (UK COM) unable to admit over 100 qualified Kentuckians each year. This article describes how leadership at University of Kentucky committed to addressing the state physician shortage while simultaneously strengthening relationships with critical partners through the establishment of two 4-year UK COM regional medical campuses. Based on criteria (such as a commitment to educating physicians, ample patients, sufficient willing physician preceptors, etc.), partners selected were Med Center Health, the leading health care system in southwestern Kentucky, and St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the predominant health care system in northern Kentucky. These regional campuses allow UK COM to expand its class size to 201 and total enrollment to 804, increasing from historically 70 to currently 120 graduates per year expected to practice in Kentucky. Critical to the success of this expansion is the buy-in of leadership and the Admissions Committee to consider students with a wider range of Medical College Admission Test scores. The regional clinical partners have substantially increased their teaching opportunities, with a greater ability to attract physicians. Both partners have made substantial financial contributions in support of the regional campuses. These relationships have energized UK COM engagement with its area alumni and have resulted in fewer Kentuckians referred out of state for advanced specialty care. Partnerships are also occurring with UK COM to increase graduate medical education offerings at the regional sites, fulfilling the vision of "training Kentuckians in Kentucky to practice in Kentucky.".
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2021|
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