Med school program “It’s yours to lose” on track for 2017

Missouri Southern’s partnership with The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences is moving along as planned this week with the remodeling of Mercy Hospital, Joplin’s former component hospital, now underway. 

The “It’s Yours to Lose — Advanced Medical Acceptance Program,” will allow up to 25 MSSU students to be admitted to the KCU College of Osteopathic Medicine yearly, upon successful completion of Southern’s requirements.

“This unique partnership with Missouri Southern State University guarantees students acceptance into medical school following their high school graduation, paving a bright future for primary care in Joplin, Missouri,” said KCU CEO Dr. Marc Hahn via press release. “Through this effort, we are not only excited about developing this pathway for local students into medical school but recognize that together we can positively impact the access to medical care for Joplin and rural Missouri.”

Students will be chosen through a joint selection process by both universities at the beginning of their first semester at MSSU

“Essentially the students are admitted to KCU at the time their admitted to Missouri Southern and so long as they achieve certain benchmarks and performance standards they are admitted directly to medical school after graduation,” said Dr. Paula Carson, provost and vice president of academic affairs. 

Carson also stated that Southern would be developing new courses to meet the needs of these students.

“It’s a unique model that compresses four years of curriculum into three and how we are offering that is innovative and in partnership with KCU,” she said. 

University officials are also considering other possible tracks to gain admission into the medical school including paths that could lead from a nursing baccalaureate preparation to medical school.  

The KCU Joplin campus is currently on track to open in the fall of 2017. The four-year medical school is slated to have 150 first year students. 

“It’s a differentiator for us, its sets us apart from other schools that don’t have a connection like this,” said University President Alan Marble. “It also raises the bar for everyone. It elevates the standards and the rigor that will bill happening in our classrooms.”

KCU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine is the oldest medical school in Kansas City and the largest in the state. KCU is the second-leading producer of physicians for both the states of Missouri and Kansas, with 73 percent practicing in primary care specialties throughout the Midwest region.

“It’s a real stamp of approval for our faculty from an outside and greatly respected medical school…they’ve been overly impressed,” said Marble. 

The 150,000 square foot campus, located at 2817 St. John’s Blvd. will be the first new medical school location to open in Missouri in 44 years. 

“These students have been preparing for this their entire adolescence, so it is critically important that we make sure our students are ready to take that next step, and they will be,” said Carson.