Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Agnes Scott, Mercer Partner to Produce More Doctors for Rural Georgia

I like this.

While the health care industry as a whole is suffering from a shortage of family practice and primary care doctors, rural communities face an even greater challenge in attracting qualified doctors. Only about 10 percent of doctors practice in rural America although around 25 percent of the nation’s population lives in a rural area, according to the federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

Now, Agnes Scott College and Mercer University are partnering to combat this trend.

Students admitted to the Post-Bac Pre-Med Program who meet the requirements of the linkage agreement will be assured early acceptance into Mercer University School of Medicine.

To qualify for the Mercer linkage program, students must enter Agnes Scott’s Post-Bac Pre-Med program in June, be residents of the State of Georgia and be willing to practice primary care in rural or underserved Georgia.

The program’s main advantage for Agnes Scott Post-Bac Pre-Med students is that it allows them to enroll in medical school immediately after successfully completing the program, said Nancy Devino, director of Agnes Scott’s Science Center for Women and director of the Post-Bac Pre-Med Program. The traditional medical school application process can take up to a year, she added.

“There’s a clear need for qualified physicians in rural communities,” said Dr. Maurice Clifton, associate dean of admissions and student affairs at the Mercer University School of Medicine. “Our partnership with Agnes Scott helps identify outstanding students with a non-traditional background who, after rigorous science preparation, will be ready for the medical school curriculum and who will go on to practice in rural and underserved communities of Georgia.”

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