Affording Medical School

There’s no doubt about it — medical school is expensive. But U.S. News & World Report has compiled a list of 10 private medical schools with the lowest tuition and fees for the 2015-16 academic year.

Here are the 10 most affordable private medical schools and their 2015-16 out-of-state tuition rates, according to U.S. News & World Report:

  1. Baylor College of Medicine (Houston) — $31,663
  2. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (Erie, Pa.) — $32,985
  3. University of Pikeville–Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine — $41,320
  4. University of Miami Miller School of Medicine — $42,626
  5. Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine–Virginia campus (Blacksburg, Va.), Carolinas campus (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Auburn (Ala.) campus — $43,250
  6. Kansas City (Mo.) University of Medicine and Biosciences — $43,513
  7. Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (Cumberland Gap, Tenn.) — $46,528
  8. Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (New York City) — $48,340
  9. Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine (Hempstead, N.Y.) — $48,500
  10. Mayo Medical School (Rochester, Minn.) — $49,900

See those three schools in bold type?  That’s right – three out of the top ten are in our region!

Emergency Residency

Tom Morris – HRSA’s Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy – has a stump speech about rural healthcare vs. urban healthcare entitled; “Rural is NOT Mini Urban.”

To underline his point, he puts a picture on the screen of a huge tractor next to a lawn mower.  Guess which one is intended for use in rural areas?

By the same token, emergency medicine is different in rural communities.  A hospital in Idaho has recognized that difference in creating a rural emergency medicine program.

St. Luke’s Hospital and the University of Washington created the program after the university decided its students should be exposed more to rural medicine.  The students are overseen by emergency physicians and the students are able to help out in the ER during busy times.

Read more about this unique program.

Preparing for Rural

The Rural Health Research & Policy Centers recently published, Outcomes of Rural-Centric Residency Training to Prepare Family Medicine Physicians for Rural Practice.  This policy brief identified family medicine residencies providing rural training and the practice locations of their graduates.


  • Family medicine physicians who graduated from rural-centric residency programs—those that actively recruit medical students with an interest in rural practice and require at least eight weeks of rural training—practiced in rural areas during the first five years after graduation at much higher rates than the entire population of family physicians.
  • No single program characteristic or model offered sustained advantages over any other type in producing high yields to rural practice.
  • Graduates of rural-centric family medicine residencies also chose to practice in Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (both rural and urban) at high rates, up to 54% three years post-graduation, declining by five years post-graduation to 42%.
  • The combination of a program mission to produce rural physicians with required rural training experiences may help to account for similar outcomes among a diverse group of residency programs that produce family physicians who choose rural practice.
  • More research is needed to determine whether rural practice choices are sustained beyond five years post-graduation, the time period of this study.

The last point is of particular interest as the paper notes:

It is not known the extent to which these high rates of practice in shortage areas are the result of incentive programs, such as the National Health Service Corps, or Conrad 30 Waiver Program, or other factors. If incentives are driving this trend, we do not know whether these physicians will remain in shortage areas once incentive obligations are fulfilled, since incentive programs typically involve two to six years of service in underserved locations.

Rural Residents Research Symposium

The agenda has been posted for the April 22nd
Rural Residents Research Symposium:

8:30 am – Continental breakfast and registration

9:00 am – 10:00 am – How to Conduct Community Health and Primary Care Research
Dr. Alexis Stoner, Faculty Instructor and Course Director of Epidemiology, Clinical Prevention, and Population Health, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas Campus

10am – 11am – How do I report data on rural populations to answer hypothesis driven research questions?
Susan L. Meacham, Ph.D., R.D., Professor, Nutrition
Discipline of Family Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Virginia Campus

11am – 11:30am –Rural Health Clinics: the Overlooked Option

11:30am – 1:00pm – Lunch

1:00pm – 2:00pm – Habit and Habitus: A Faith-based Health Initiative
Dr. Troy Reece, PGY-1, Johnston Memorial Hospital Family Medicine Residency will present with attending physician Dr. Giovani Ferrante, vascular surgeon at Johnston Memorial Hospital

2:00pm – 3:00pm – Residency Culture: Survival Tips

The Symposium will be held at the Slemp Center of UVA Wise.

Click here to register.  For questions, contact GMEC Director Wendy Welch at