HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. -- Northern Kentucky University, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the University of Kentucky are teaming up to develop a UK regional medical school right here in the Tri-State.
Currently, the UK College of Medicine is at its capacity at the Lexington campus and although there is a deep applicant pool for medical students, the college can’t expand enrollment without the help of regional partners, said Robert DiPaola, dean of the UK College of Medicine.
"In Kentucky we have a shortage of physicians, especially primary care physicians, throughout the state,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. "As the university for Kentucky, we are working in close partnership with leading universities in our state and regional medical centers to directly respond to this need. Additionally, this collaboration will allow us to expand college of medicine enrollment in a manner that effectively and efficiently utilizes existing resources throughout the state."
While details of the broad-based initiative are still being ironed out, UK officials have signed a memorandum of understanding with the partners.
Currently, the UK College of Medicine enrolls 547 students including 139 in the most recent admitted class -- the Class of 2020.
UK plans to increase its class size by through expansion to these regional campus locations. Local advisory committees will recommend students for admission to the program.
“NKU is proud to have the opportunity to partner with the University of Kentucky and St. Elizabeth Healthcare to leverage our individual strengths and the power of our brands to bring professional medical education to Northern Kentucky,” said NKU President Geoffrey Mearns. “Among other things, this medical school campus at NKU will help us further the mission of our Health Innovation Center to improve the health of the people that we serve.”
The UK COM-Northern Kentucky campus will be a fully functioning four-year campus, utilizing the exact same curriculum and assessments as UK’s Lexington campus. On-site faculty will have UK College of Medicine appointments and teach in small groups and provide simulation/standardized patient experiences with lectures delivered on-site from Lexington utilizing educational technology. Additionally, clinical experiences will occur at St. Elizabeth Healthcare and surrounding community practices.
University officials announced the partnership at a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Monday. Just last year, UK announced new medical programs at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green to begin in 2018 and an expansion to the existing program at Morehead State University to begin shortly thereafter.