On the front page of the Saturday (July 23, 2011) New York Times, an article by A.G. Sulzberger proclaimed Small-Town Doctors Made in a Small Kansas Town. This week, the University of Kansas School of Medicine is opening a new campus in Salina, Kansas. Salina will be the smallest town in the US to host a four-year medical campus. The stated purpose of the new campus is produce primary care doctors that will practice in rural Kansas. Dr. Heidi Chumley, the KU Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education and Associate Vice Chancellor for Educational Resources and Interprofessional Education, is leading KU's development of this campus with strong support from Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and EVC / Executive Dean Barbara Atkinson. The fact that this article ran on the front page of the NY Times is a testament to the uniqueness of this new campus. The LCME reviewers of the Salina program thought that it was "an interesting model" that "could be a stimulus for other schools".
As you might expect, the program has generated a lot of interest:
Dave Ranney from the Kansas Health Institute had a nice article on the KHI web site on July 5, 2011, New Salina med school campus unique in U.S. I will be reposting an excerpted version of this article in the next few days.
Elana Gordon of KCUR, the University of Missouri-KC NPR affiliate, did a nice article about the new campus, Tiny School to Create Tiny Town Docs. This ten-minute interview with Dr. Chumley ran on the air and a podcast is posted at this link.
Roger Cornish, from KWCH 12 Eyewitness News (a Wichita CBS affiliate), has a great interview with Kayla Johnson and several of the other new first year medical students at the Salina campus. You can watch the video of the interview titled, Classes begin at K-U Med / Salina.
Lily Wu from KAKE (another Wichita TV station) did an interview of the students and staff at the new campus, Medical Students Interested in Serving Small Towns.
I am sure that there will be more press on this over the next few days and weeks. Congratulations to Dr. Chumley and the University of Kansas for this historic endeavor.