UK College of Medicine Reaches Pivotal Milestone with Campus Expansion
By Charles H. “Chipper” Griffith III, MD, MSPH, Acting Dean, UK College of Medicine
For too long, Kentuckians have suffered a burdening physician shortage, particularly in rural underserved areas. As of 2018, according to the Kentucky Hospital Association, our state ranked 46th out of 50 for active physicians per capita.
A wide variety of issues stem from lack of access to health care: long travel distances to the doctor, excessive wait time for appointments, and, ultimately, a greater risk of prolonged disease.
As part of the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky College of Medicine was uniquely positioned to address this problem. We found it imperative to help lead the charge in advancing access to quality health care.
We started with a mission to train more physicians in Kentucky, for Kentucky. To achieve this mission, we continued developing our Rural Physician Leadership Program in Morehead, established in 2010, to provide specialized training for physicians who want to practice in rural areas. Then we created two four-year regional campuses across the Commonwealth, Bowling Green (which opened in 2018) and Northern Kentucky (2019).
Five years later, we are thrilled to celebrate the fulfillment of a dream. This spring, we will graduate the inaugural class of the UK College of Medicine-Northern Kentucky Campus. This means that, as of today, our regional campuses each have four classes, and we are capable of training more than 800 medical students across four sites.
Thanks to our expanded footprint, we are now the largest medical school in the state.
Reaching these pivotal milestones is already an accomplishment, but the Match Day results within the Class of 2023 tell an even more incredible story. Within this year’s graduating class, 42% of students who entered the residency match process will pursue programs in Kentucky – 78 students in total, a doubling since 2018. This will likely result in an even greater percentage of our classes eventually practicing medicine in the Commonwealth.
Our Match Day success could not have been achieved without our strong community partnerships with leading education and health care institutions. These include St. Claire HealthCare and Morehead State University, Med Center Health and Western Kentucky University, as well as St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Northern Kentucky University.
Since my internal medicine-pediatrics residency training at UK, Kentucky has been my home for more than 30 years. Since then, the progress made in health care in our state has been extraordinary, and it has been a privilege to help the University of Kentucky play such a significant role in this progress.
It is one thing to have a dream, but the numbers are proof that a shared vision can achieve great things for a community.
Together, UK and its community partners are preparing more physicians to provide Kentuckians access to the compassionate, equitable health care they deserve.
Annual Wellness Visits: Use Clinical Staff to Increase Efficiency
Medicare Part B covers an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) if performed by a:
- Physician (a Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy)
- Qualified Non-Physician Practitioner
- Physician Assistance
- Nurse Practitioner
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Medical professional (including health educator, registered dietitian, nutrition professional, or other licensed practitioner)
- A team of medical professionals directly supervised by a physician
Team up with clinical staff who can perform part or all of a wellness visit—saving time for you and your patients.