Using decentralized medical education to address the workforce needs of a rural state: a partnership between Maine Medical Center and Tufts University school of medicine.Rural Remote Health. 2010 Apr-Jun; 10(2):1494.RR
In February 2008, a new partnership between Maine Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine was formed to create a model medical school program.
Major forces for change included: the increasing physician workforce needs of Maine, the need to increase access for medical education for Maine students, the opportunity for educational innovation, the societal imperative to increase the number of primary care physicians, and the desire for clinical and research collaborations.
The authors describe the process for exploring this partnership, and establishing a separate track and campus for 36 students per year. The key components of the 4 year curriculum, which includes clinical training based in Maine, are described, and 13 lessons learned to date are outlined. The authors hope these lessons provide guidance to other academic medical centers and medical schools wishing to address rural physician workforce challenges, through regional models of medical education, and similar partnerships.