UK plans to develop its third regional medical school in Northern Kentucky; others are to be in Bowling Green and Morehead

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine plans to develop its third regional medical school in Northern Kentucky, in an effort to increase the overall number of physicians in the state. The other two are in Bowling Green and Morehead.

“In Kentucky we have a shortage of physicians, especially primary-care physicians, throughout the state,” UK President Eli Capilouto said in a news release. “We are working in close partnership with leading universities in our state and regional medical centers to directly respond to this need. Additionally, this collaboration will allow us to expand college of medicine enrollment in a manner that effectively and efficiently utilizes existing resources throughout the state.”

The Bowling Green program is supposed to begin enrolling students in 2018, and the Morehead program sometime thereafter. The Northern Kentucky initiative will be in partnership with Northern Kentucky University and St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

Dr. Robert DiPaola, dean of the UK medical school, said it is at capacity and can’t expand enrollment without the help of regional partners. Currently, the College of Medicine enrolls 547 students, including 139 recently admitted into the class of 2020.

Details of the broad-based initiative are still being ironed out, though UK officials have signed a memorandum of understanding with the partners. The four-year Northern Kentucky program will utilize the same curriculum and assessments as UK’s Lexington campus.

The release says the “on-site faculty will have UK College of Medicine appointments and teach in small groups and provide simulation/standardized patient experiences with lectures delivered on-site from Lexington utilizing educational technology. Additionally, clinical experiences will occur at St. Elizabeth Healthcare and surrounding community practices.”

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