New medical schools cater to primary care

The healthcare system needs more primary care physicians, and at least two new schools are trying to answer that call.

The healthcare system needs more primary care physicians (PCPs), and at least two new schools are trying to answer that call.

Quinnipiac’s Schools of Health Sciences and Nursing is one of the new medical schools offering primary care-specific training to medical students. Quinnipiac’s new Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine will focus on training PCPs to become members of patient-centered healthcare teams, according to Bruce, Koeppen, MD, founding dean of the school.

The new school plans to enroll its first incoming class in fall 2013, and the school’s admissions committee is selecting candidates most likely to match the school’s mission of education future PCPs.

The medical program will be housed in a new, 325,000-square-foot facility on Quinnipiac’s North Haven, Connecticut, campus.

Quinnipiac’s new program is not alone in its quest to create more PCPs.

The University of California, Riverside,  opened about a year ago with a primary focus to help resolve a PCP shortage in California. Because many medical students turn away from primary care to pay down school debts, Riverside seeks to head off those problems by offering a scholarship-to-loan program where scholarships are awarded based on merit and need. If students stay in the area after graduation and practice primary care, they keep the money as a scholarship. If they choose another area of practice, the money becomes a loan the student will have to repay.