UK-Murray State medical school program on hold

The University of Kentucky announced Murray State University as the location for their new College of Medicine western campus, saying the program could be installed as early as 2012.

That was two years ago.

More delays are ahead, and the school’s medical public relations department is set to comment in the coming weeks regarding the progress and effect of the program on the Purchase Area.

For now, though, officials at UK are remaining­­­­­­ silent.

Called the Rural Physician Leadership Program (RPLP), the program should be available to students by no later than 2014.

Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology Steve Cobb said, while delays were possible for the installment of the curriculum, reasons for the slowed progress were unclear and he said the University is doing their part in making sure the transition is smooth.

“Murray Calloway County Hospital is to be a focal point of the clinical training,” Cobb said. “Naturally, Murray State is excited to assist the UK College of Medicine in bringing this program to Murray and the region, since it would provide additional slots for our students who are interested in applying to medical school.”

After two full years of science education at the University of Kentucky, students following the RPLP curriculum will then have clinical experiences in their third and fourth years, choosing to either attend Morehead State University or the up-and-coming Murray State University regional locations for further instruction.

These clinical rotations occur in a block format involving four months of rigorous study with internal medicine and two months of study regarding surgery, psychiatry, neurology, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology.

Family medicine is also another integral section of the program, which requires students to attend a family medicine clinic once a week for an entire year. Students will acquire a strong familiarity with the clinic’s operation, its patients and its involvement with the community. During this year, students will also create a direct response to a specific health problem congruent to regional needs.

By the fourth year, students can return to Lexington to complete electives or continue their education at satellite locations. Through Murray State, the program will provide a Certificate of Health Systems Leadership through training in community health, epidemiology, debt management and business skills not currently offered at the University of Kentucky.

 Story by Edward Marlowe, Staff writer.