Housing re-opened for third year medical students practicing rural medicine in Joplin Monday. The housing is part of the MU School of Medicine rural track pipeline program, which trains students to practice medicine in small, rural communities.
The Joplin arm of the program shut down in 2011, after a tornado destroyed the old living quarters.
Kathleen Quinn is the director of the rural track pipeline program at MU and she says the program helps create more doctors in rural areas, where care could be in short supply.
“The goal of the program is to give the students longitudinal experience across their medical career with the hopes that they learn to love and live in a rural area and provide care in those rural areas once they finish their residency," Quinn said.
Quinn says it took two years to get the housing re-established because with so many Joplin residents displaced by the tornado, housing in and around the city was impossible to come by.
Five or six students typically live in Joplin for six months at a time and work with physicians at Mercy Hospital.