University of Missouri receives grant to quell increasing rural doctor shortage

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri has received $5 million in federal funds to address a shortage of primary care physicians in rural parts of the state.

The university said it is the largest award for rural medicine in the school’s history.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a federal analysis predicts Missouri will have a shortage of 1,220 primary care doctors by 2025.

Jesse Hall and the Columns on the campus of the University of Missouri on November 11, 2005 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Health officials say most of the $5 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration will pay to expand existing programs to recruit college students to pursue rural medicine and to expose more medical school students to small-town clinics. It will support rural hospitals by paying for hosting and mentoring medical students.

Another program will train hospital staff to recruit and retain providers.

About $750,000 will fund a new family medicine residency program at Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia.

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