Meet Bucky. He is the mascot for A.T. Still University (ATSU ). But, more important, the medical students standing on either side of Bucky are the real story because they represent the future of health centers. ATSU has two campuses, one in Kirksville, MO, and the other in Mesa, AZ, but no matter the location the university is focused on one important issue: building the primary care workforce for the next generation. As we’ve noted earlier, health centers have not just survived for the last 50 years, they have also expanded to become the largest, if not most successful, system of primary care. But the success of the future expansion of health centers depends on a robust workforce to staff the health centers. We need to train more providers to meet the demand for care that is expected to grow.
That is where ATSU comes in. In Mesa, for instance, the university is home to the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA), which operates a family residency program that will place 87 graduates over three years in health centers around the country. This is part of a “homegrown” recruitment strategy that encourages local students to become primary care physicians in their own communities. These students also learn firsthand at medical residencies operated by select Community Health Centers around the country.
To learn more about this innovative program and two future healers, who are on a path to primary care, read this blog post from ATSU-SOMA.