The University of Missouri, MU School of Medicine, CoxHealth and Mercy health systems of Springfield celebrated their partnership to address a critical shortage of physicians by breaking ground on July 9 for the Patient-Centered Care Learning Center in Columbia. The groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate the start of construction for a $42.5 million medical education building at the University of Missouri and the new MU clinical campus in Springfield.
The project’s goal is to train more physicians for Missouri by expanding the class size of the MU School of Medicine and adding an MU clinical campus in Springfield.
The Patient-Centered Care Learning Center in Columbia is scheduled to open in 2017. MU medical students will begin training at the clinical campus in Springfield in 2016.
Leaders estimate the project will provide more than 300 additional Missouri doctors, add more than $390 million annually to the state’s economy and create 3,500 new jobs.
“The vision for the building is to create a learning space that reflects our goal of educating physicians to provide effective patient-centered care for the people of Missouri and beyond,” said Linda Headrick, MD, senior associate dean at the MU School of Medicine. “That is why the building is called the ‘Patient-Centered Care Learning Center.’ This new learning environment will explicitly focus the students’ attention on the people they are preparing to serve.”
Starting in June 2016, eight to 12 MU medical students will complete their last two years of training in Springfield. Starting in August 2017, 32 additional medical students will be admitted to MU every year as a result of the expansion. By 2020, there will be a total of 64 third- and fourth-year medical students based in Springfield.