The University of Kansas School of Medicine will add a four-year program in the city of Salina, Kansas, according to a press release issued by the school.

At KU School of Medicine’s new Salina campus students will listen to lectures along with their peers in Kansas City and Wichita via interactive television and podcasts, while web-based systems will  support most of the curriculum’s laboratory components.

“The whole mission of the Salina campus is to train physicians in non-metropolitan areas of the state and show these young medical students that life can be good and  practice can be challenging outside of the big city,” explained William  Cathcart-Rake, MD, PACP, a Salina based oncologist and director of the KU School
of Medicine-Salina.

Not only will KU add the new four-year program in Salina, but it also plans to  expand its existing Wichita branch from a two-year clinical program to a full,  four-year program. The way it is now, students in KU’s Wichita program spend their first two years at the Kansas City campus before going to Wichita for two years of clinical training. Now, students will be able to spend all four years in Wichita. In addition, students interested in rural health careers may now complete all four years of their training in Salina.

“The University of Kansas contributes to the success and vitality of our state by  educating students who fill vital workforce needs, such as in health care,” said says KU
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “KU’s School of Medicine is the only medical school in the state, and the expansions in Wichita and Salina will enable us to  educate more physicians who will go on to improve the lives and health of Kansas.”

In Fall 2011, the Salina and Wichita sites will each welcome their first class of four-year medical students. Heidi Chumley, MD, senior associate dean for medical education, said the Salina and Wichita programs will admit students from rural areas who are more likely to return to rural areas after their training.

For more information about KU School of Medicine, visit www.kumc.edu/som.