UMC Graduates More than 600 Medical ProfessionalsBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 25 May 2012 05:44pm |
Recent graduates of the University of Mississippi Medical Center are hoping to help solve some of the state’s most critical health problems. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports.
614 physicians, dentists, nurses and other medical students have just received degrees from the University of Mississippi Center Medical Center. While many of these young medical professionals will leave the state to complete years of residency requirements Pediatrician, John Russell McPherson hopes to soon return to his rural community of Inverness.
"Inverness has about a thousand people there and I grew up hunting and fishing and spending time with friends and family. And that's what's important to me and that's what I'm ready to get back to."
McPherson is part of the rural Mississippi scholarship program. Their mission is to increase the number of physicians per capita especially in rural communities.
"The waits in rural clinics are hours long. You know the doctors are seeing 40 or 50 patients a day, they need some help. You know and I think this program and others like it are great to help new grads back to rural areas 'cause there's a lot of need there and there's a lot of experience and great opportunities for physicians."
The sense of giving back to the community is also the driving force behind Lane Rush's decision to eventually start an orthopedic practice in his hometown of Meridian.
"I’ve always envisioned myself working here and treating the people I was raised around and grew up. And the people of Mississippi was one of the reason I was inspired to go into medicine in the first place. Was helping others and these are the people you grew up knowing."
Well documented publications often list Mississippi as the unhealthiest state in the nation. It's a title that UM Chancellor Dan Jones is determined to change.
"We're undeserved in terms of health professionals and so it's critical that these folks graduate and get out in the workplace and make our state a healthier state."
Jones says medical school officials are urging state policy makers to increase funding which would expand the class size of the medical school program. Lawayne Childrey MPB News.
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