Do you have a passion for caring for patients in rural and smaller communities? Ohio State’s Community Medicine MD Track (CMT) will prepare you for a successful career in community medicine. It leverages the innovative medical education of The Ohio State University College of Medicine with the community care expertise of Bon Secours Mercy Health to train physicians who want to practice community medicine in a community-based setting. The track will not only address the clinical  issues relevant for caring for patients in rural and smaller communities, but will also provide extra emphasis on leadership development and community engagement. CMT students will receive a medical education rooted in aspects of community health and population-based medicine.

Developing physicians to transform the health of all communities

The Community Medicine Track (CMT) is an MD program designated for students who have a firm commitment to practicing as physicians in rural or smaller communities. The CMT does not limit students to a specialty; instead, we seek to train physicians who will ultimately specialize in a variety of fields such as surgery, emergency medicine, internal medicine, family medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and obstetrics and gynecology. Students will spend the first two years of medical school on the Columbus campus and then spend their third and fourth years with clinical experiences at Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center (opens external link) in Lima, Ohio with support services from The Ohio State University at Lima (opens external link). CMT students will meet the same objectives required of all medical students and receive their medical degree from the Ohio State College of Medicine.

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Innovative and interprofessional curriculum

Students in the first and second years (Part 1) of the Lead.Serve.Inspire. curriculum participate in a longitudinal ambulatory experience called longitudinal practice (LP) where they are paired with a single faculty preceptor to practice the skills needed to become a physician in a clinical environment. New faculty preceptors/clinical sites will be recruited for each of the new students in Springfield, Ohio, a community approximately 45 minutes from Columbus campus, to align with the educational goals of the regional campus. The students will complete all required clinical experiences for the third (Part 2) and fourth (Part 3) years at the regional campus.

The curriculum at the regional Lima campus will provide the same learning objectives as the curriculum taught on the Columbus campus during the third and fourth years except there will be increased emphasis on educational objectives in the community setting. All required clerkships will be designed to take advantage of the strengths of the clinical environment with the clear intention to allow students to integrate as members of the community and health care team. In addition, there will be a new, longitudinal and robust Interprofessional Practice and Education (IPE) thread developed at this site, where students will work in interprofessional teams with nursing, pharmacy and other health science learners over time to optimize patient- and population-centered care while developing collaborative practice competencies within their required clerkships. Students at the regional campus in Lima will have access to the same level of resources and support services as offered at The Ohio State University in Columbus. 

Career advising and residency preparation

During the first and second years in Columbus, CMT students will participate in LSI Professional Development, which consists of three dedicated weeks within LSI Part 1 (years 1 and 2). These weeks contain a combination of core sessions, focused on professional development activities, such as study skills, personal wellness and financial wellness, and specialty-specific sessions, including presentations by faculty members from the range of specialties at the Columbus campus and in-person specialty experiences. All instructional sessions provided to fourth-year students related to preparation of the residency application, interviewing, and the process of creating and finalizing the rank order list will be made accessible, so that the CMT students will receive the same complement of career advising content as the Columbus campus students.

About Mercy Health — St. Rita's Medical

Mercy Health St. Rita’s Medical Center (opens external link) is well positioned to accommodate the addition of Ohio State College of Medicine students. In summer 2021, a new state-of-the-art medical education building in Lima opened across the street from the medical center, providing access to all necessary educational and assessment spaces. This 48,000-square-foot building includes simulation labs, classrooms, clinical skills laboratories, a 240-seat lecture hall, team-based learning space, a library, study space, a 20-station computer lab and office space.

With nearly 35,000 employees across regions of Ohio and Kentucky, Mercy Health (opens external link) is one of the largest health care systems in the country. At each of their more than 600 points of care, they deliver high-quality, compassionate care.

Mercy Health focuses on improving the health and well-being of their communities and bringing good help to those in need, especially people who are under-resourced and underserved. The goal is to enhance the quality of life and health for all people.

How to apply

Applications for this program will open June 1, 2023. Details on how to apply will be coming soon.

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Selection process

The entrance requirements for this community-based track are identical to the requirements for the MD program offered by Ohio State. Every medical school applicant is provided a holistic review by one of our faculty, and applications to the Community Medicine MD Track will be considered separately from the other MD programs we offer. The review process will include additional consideration of the applicant’s commitment and motivation to pursuing a career in community-based medicine and completing their clinical experiences in a rural area of Ohio. In addition, members of the admissions committee who interview students for this track will be specifically trained on the key elements that will help determine a student’s commitment to community-based practice. Once a student is admitted to the community-based track, they will not be able to transfer into the standard track.

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