The University of Missouri School of Medicine is now recruiting eight students for its new residency program to train emergency physicians. The school is now taking applications, and the class will begin in fall 2014.
Dr. Marc Borenstein, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at MU, said emergency medicine has been increasing in demand. According to Borenstein, there are three main reasons for the increasing trend.
“We need emergency physicians to meet the volume of patients,” Borenstein said. “Also, the complexity of patients’ situations is increasing. In addition, severity of the illnesses is increasing because sometimes people aren’t able to get health care and keep up with their medical conditions.”
Program Director for the rural track pipeline program Kathleen Quinn said there is more demand for emergency physicians in rural areas. Quinn said, nationwide, about 20 percent of the population lives in rural areas, and only about 11 percent of emergency physicians work in rural areas.
In Missouri, 37 percent of people live in rural areas. Quinn says having the residency program will help Columbia economically and will help Missouri in general.
“A lot of times in the smaller communities, if they don’t have emergency care, they would have to travel further to get care,” Quinn said.
Residency is a post-graduate training program for physicians. After graduation, they train in their specialty area such as emergency medicine or surgery. It generally takes three to five years depending on the area of specialization.