Do you have a passion for living and 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 medicine in a community-based setting. The track will not only address the clinical issues relevant to 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.

Ashley Hoblit, MD

Ashley Hoblit, MD, is a recent Ohio State College of Medicine alum who is now a resident physician practicing family and community medicine in Lima, Ohio, at St. Rita’s. Here she shares her experiences and reasons why the CMT is positioned to successfully prepare students to pursue a fulfilling career in community medicine.

Learn more about the CMT

Our Mission

We prepare physicians to practice in smaller cities and rural communities with the goal of improving health and well-being in Ohio and beyond. 

Developing physicians to transform the health of all communities

The Community Medicine MD Track (CMT) is an MD program designed for students who have a firm commitment to practicing as physicians in rural or small communities. The CMT does not limit students to a specialty; instead, it trains 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 transition to The Ohio State University at Lima for their third and fourth years, gaining clinical experiences at Mercy Health – St. Rita’s. CMT students will meet the same objectives required of all Ohio State medical students and will receive their medical degree from the Ohio State College of Medicine. We value diversity and believe our student body will be enhanced by including students with small community backgrounds and/or interests to pursue training at the regional campus in Lima.

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. The CMT students will perform the LP with faculty/clinical sites associated with Mercy Health – Springfield. Springfield, Ohio, is a community approximately 45 minutes from the Columbus campus. The students will complete all required clinical experiences for the third (Part 2) and fourth (Part 3) years at the Lima regional campus and Mercy Health – St. Rita’s. Students will be welcome and encouraged to participate in electives at Columbus campus and with other community partners.

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 with an increased emphasis on community setting education. 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 interdisciplinary health care team and community. In addition, there will be a new, longitudinal and robust Interprofessional Practice and Education (IPE) curriculum 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 central 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. 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 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 center in Lima opened on the Mercy Health – St Rita’s campus, providing access to all necessary educational and assessment spaces. This 48,000-square-foot building includes dedicated space for medical students, simulation labs, classrooms, clinical skills laboratories, a 240-seat lecture hall, team-based learning space, a virtual library, study space, a 20-station computer lab and office space.

With nearly 35,000 employees across regions of Ohio and Kentucky, Mercy Health 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

  1. First, designate The Ohio State University on the electronic AMCAS application, and select Regular MD as the application type.
  2. After submitting the AMCAS application, contact us at for further instructions on specific steps to follow to apply.  Please include your name and AMCAS ID number and clearly state that you wish to apply to the Community Medicine Track.
  3. Please note that your application to the CMT program will not be complete until you have informed The Ohio State University College of Medicine of your interest in this program.
  4. Competitive applicants will be sent a secondary application. Your application to the Ohio State College of Medicine Community Medicine MD Track is complete when your secondary application is received.
  5. Qualified applicants are invited for interviews, which take place from October to March, and will complete an interview day.

Community Medicine MD Track consideration for Regular MD waitlist

For the 2024 application cycle, Regular MD applicants can request to be considered for Community Medicine Track if they are waitlisted for the Regular MD. Applicants indicate this interest by checking the appropriate box on the secondary application and completing the Community Medicine MD Track questions within this application. Regular MD applicants that request consideration for the Community Medicine Track will only be considered if the CMT cohort is not filled by applicants who selected it as their first choice.  Applicants who indicate CMT as their first choice are given first consideration for the track.

Selection process

The entrance requirements for CMT are identical to the requirements for the MD program offered by Ohio State. Every medical school applicant is provided a holistic review. 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 medicine track.


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CMT Program Leaders

Dr. Sreenan headshot photo, Program Director of CMT

JJ Sreenan, MD

Program Director

Dr. Sreenan is a board certified in anatomical and clinical pathology and was a partner in Lima Pathology Associates for 27 yearsHe has had a passion for teaching throughout his career teaching courses at Ohio Northern University and the Lima Regional Campus of The Ohio State University. Within the Lima community, he has served and chaired numerous hospital committees, is a member of the advisory board of Ohio State Lima, served on the Lima Central Catholic School board and was chair of the board for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Allen and Putnam countiesHe is proud to bring the Community Medicine MD Track to Lima and excited for students to arrive.


Lori Martensen photo

Lori Scott Martensen

Program Administrator

Lori Scott Martensen has worked in higher education since 1996Her professional interests include rural physician workforce development, new program development, and access to higher education for rural studentsIn her community of St. Marys, which is 30 miles outside of Lima, she is involved with the local Rotary Club (President-Elect), Friends of the Library (Vice President), Community Foundation (Scholarship Committee), and is a volunteer grant writer for the restoration of the town’s historic theatre and opera houseShe is honored to be involved with the development of the Community Medicine MD Track and is eagerly awaiting the arrival of students in Lima.