Baptist Memorial Health Care of Memphis is partnering with the New York Institute of Technology's College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro to train future doctors.
The two said the agreement begins immediately and allows up to 25 of the college's students to be trained at Baptist Memorial Health Care facilities during medical school. The program could later increase up to 50 students.
Students selected to participate in the program will have training opportunities throughout the Baptist Memorial Health Care system during their first and second year. Participants will execute their third- and fourth-year clerkships at one of Baptist's 22 hospitals.
After they graduate, students will be encouraged to apply to one of Baptist Memorial's affiliated residency programs. Baptist hosts residents and fellows in family medicine, internal medicine, radiology, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery and other disciplines.
"We are so excited to launch this partnership because it will bring tremendous benefit to students, families and communities throughout the Mid-South," Jason Little, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care, said in a news release. "There is a significant shortage of physicians, particularly primary care, in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. This shortage poses a grave health risk, particularly to people in under-served rural and urban communities. We believe this … program will help alleviate this shortage …"
Shane Speights, dean of the college at A-State, said the program fits with its goal of training physicians who are likely to practice in the Mid-South.
"The opportunity to study within the Mid-South's largest health care organization, with a variety of locations in both rural and urban areas, will be extremely valuable for our future doctors," he said.
In the last three years, Baptist Memorial has started primary care residency programs at three of its hospitals: Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis, in conjunction with Church Health; Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus, Mississippi; and NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jonesboro.
Established in 1977, NYITCOM is one of the largest osteopathic medical schools in the country, with more than 7,500 graduates practicing in all 50 states and 18 countries. The school welcomed its first class at A-State in 2016.