U of M, CentraCare hope medical school gets more medical workers to rural areas

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Rural hospitals and clinics in Minnesota are struggling to find medical workers. Now, a new medical school could change that.

CentraCare’s St. Cloud Hospital is teaming up with the University of Minnesota to open the school.

The goal of the school would be to get more doctors and nurses to work in rural Minnesota.

“We know this for sure: individuals that train in rural environments are much more likely to stay in rural environments,” Dr. Ken Holman, CentraCare’s CEO, said. “We want to create a new opportunity for kids to say, ‘This looks good, let’s invest in a new tomorrow by staying in our rural communities.'”

If approved by CentraCare and the University of Minnesota next month, it would become the first new medical school in the state in the last 50 years.

In a statement, the University of Minnesota said:

“We are excited to have this opportunity to deepen our existing relationship with CentraCare. The Medical School is committed to working with any health system in the State who wants to educate more of our students and residents. CentraCare has been a partner for more than 20 years in the education of physicians, pharmacists, and more recently, advanced practice nurses. In the past year, we’ve been working with them to address Greater Minnesota’s need for more physicians and broader access to high-quality healthcare. And based on the success of our programs in Duluth, we’re looking forward to expanding our ability to provide excellent education and training opportunities with CentraCare for more future physicians.”

Jakub Tolar, University of Minnesota’s dean of the Medical School and vice president for Clinical Affairs