Construction of the new University of Kentucky College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus will be completed in mid-September to welcome the inaugural class of 30 medical students.
The Bowling Green facility is UK’s first four-year regional campus to open that will utilize the same curriculum as UK’s main campus in Lexington. Dean of the UK College of Medicine Robert DiPaola said building this regional campus will help address the shortage of healthcare workers in Kentucky and across the nation.
“We know that students might choose different specialties and so forth, there is at least a strong desire as we see it in talking to many of these student applicants to want to do primary care and even many of them serve in various communities, some of them even more rural communities,” DiPaolo said.
DiPaola said the need for physicians in the state is so urgent that graduates will likely find plenty of opportunity to practice medicine in the south central region. Todd Cheever is the new associate dean at the UK College of Medicine’s Bowling Green campus. He said the regional campus will allow the state to train more physicians and provide more accessible healthcare for Kentuckians.
“The thinking is that if folks come to medical school here and they do their training here they’ll be more likely to stay in this area and practice medicine,” Cheever said.
Cheever said people who wanted to go to medical school but didn’t want to leave home in south central Kentucky will now have the opportunity to pursue that career. In 2016 the UK College of Medicine announced plans for regional campuses in Bowling Green, Morehead and Northern Kentucky. The Bowling Green campus is the first one to open and will be a complete medical school program.