Michigan State Medical School Deal with Colleges Seeks to Address Growing Physician Shortage

Michigan State Medical School Deal with Colleges Seeks to Address Growing Physician Shortage
October 25, 2010/Business Review West Michigan

By Mark Sanchez

Michigan State University’s agreements with three more colleges to set aside slots for qualified students who want to attend medical school aims to address a growing shortage of doctors.

Under the early assurance program, up to eight slots annually at MSU’s College of Human Medicine will go to pre-med students at Aquinas College, Calvin College and Hope College. The program is intended for students who want to serve in underserved areas of the state.

The idea is that students at those colleges, if they attend medical school in Michigan, are more apt to stay in the state for their residency or to practice medicine once they complete their training.

“Their familiarity with and commitment to the area may persuade them to locate their practice here,” Aquinas College President Edward Balog said.

Balog called the agreement “an excellent example of institutions cooperating.”

The MSU deal with Aquinas, Calvin and Hope, announced this morning, is similar to an agreement struck two years ago with Grand Valley State University. That agreement has now grown from six slots to eight.

By adding Aquinas, Calvin and Hope, the College of Human Medicine now has 10 early-assurance agreements with universities and colleges around the state, Dean Marsha Rappley said. The three colleges are the first private schools to sign deals with the medical school.

Rappley wants 40 of the 200 annual openings at the medical school to go to qualified students coming to MSU through early assurance programs. About 20 seats are now set aside under agreements with colleges in Michigan.

“We are really looking to increase the number of superb students from the state of Michigan,” Rappley said. “It’s what the state needs.”

The Michigan State Medical Society in 2006 estimated the state would experience a shortage of 2,400 physicians by 2015 and 4,500 by 2020.

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