Kansas City, Mo. – The University of Kansas is expanding its medical school to train more rural doctors.
KU's school of medicine has announced it's opening a four year medical program in Salina, Kansas. It's geared towards the practice of rural medicine.
Dr. Michael Kennedy is KU's Associate Dean of Rural Health Education. He says physician shortages are a problem in rural areas because med students from those places often don't go back.
"Part of the reason that students don't return to rural practice is that they get urbanized," Kennedy says.
He says the hope of the four-year Salina program is to allow students to better maintain their rural ties and support networks, and increase their likelihood of becoming doctors in those areas.
The university has to obtain accreditation and funding before the program can start.
KU's med school is based in Kansas City. It already has branch campuses in Salina and Wichita, but neither of those places currently offer full, four-year training programs.
Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
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