From Infancy to Adolescence: The Kansas University School of Medicine–Salina
The University of Kansas School of Medicine established a rural regional campus in Salina, Kansas, in 2011. The creation of a four-year medical campus of only 32 total students in a town of less than 50,000 inhabitants appeared to contradict all previous practices where medical schools have been situated in large metropolitan cities with student bodies frequently in the hundreds. The rationale to open the Salina campus was to attract medical students with a desire to train in a rural environment, hoping that many would eventually elect to practice primary care in rural Kansas. The authors evaluated the admission demographics, academic performance, campus satisfaction, and graduate medical education choices of students at Kansas University School of Medicine–Salina (KUSM-S) during its first four years of existence. To date, the Salina campus has succeeded in its mission to train students from rural communities in a rural environment to eventually become rural-based physicians. KUSM-S students have adjusted well to the rigors of medical school, have shown steady improvement in academic performance as measured by United States Medical Licensing Examination scores, and have been overwhelmingly positive about the Salina medical education program. The initial cohort of students has now successfully graduated and secured residency training positions, and most KUSM-S graduates are either continuing their training in primary care in Kansas or intend to return to Kansas to practice following residency training.