"Mercer University announced Tuesday the school has received one of its largest-ever anonymous donations that will endow a chair at the university’s School of Medicine...
"The Rufus Harris Chair will direct the medical school’s Center for Rural Heath and Health Disparities...
"According to the news release, a recent study showed the Mercer School of Medicine is one of the most successful schools in the nation at producing physicians who practice in rural areas, shortage areas and low-income areas. The study ranked Mercer second in percentage of graduates who practice in low-income areas in Georgia."
According to the Mercer University School of Medicine, their mission is:
To educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia
Utilizing the Graham Center's Med School Mapper Tool, Mercer places 26% of its graduates into rural areas, 54% into HPSA shortage areas, with about 65% remaining in state and 56% into primary care. Of its graduates going into family medicine, 68% go into shortage areas and 39% into rural areas.
This is definitely an example of a medical school trying to stay true to its mission. This grant is not only going to amplify their efforts, but will really benefit the residents of Georgia.
With that being said, when looking at other medical schools, not many are willing to take on a commitment to help their communities with primary care, especially where I go to school within the urban and suburban areas in the northeast. Whose responsibility is it as we move forward to produce physicians that are needed in communities with shortages? Why is Mercer able to do this successfully, where other schools fall short?
Once 2014 hits (pending repeal/replace/laziness), will schools alter their mission statements for the sake of our nation's public health? My initial prediction - not likely but there is always hope!
Keep it up Mercer! You truly are an example of where medical schools should be focusing their efforts in producing the workforce our country truly needs.