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CMSRU receives major federal grant for Primary Care training

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) has been awarded a federal grant to launch its innovative curriculum developed to help address the national shortage of primary care physicians.  The Primary Care Training and Enhancement grant is a 5-year proposal with overall funding of $794,975.  It was one of several announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last Friday that support programs to educate and train the primary care physician and physician assistant workforce.

“This is the very first grant awarded to CMSRU. As the nation’s newest medical school, this is a significant achievement for us,” noted Paul Katz, MD, Dean of CMSRU. “We’re grateful that HHS recognizes CMSRU’s important and innovative curriculum.”

CMSRU was awarded the grant for its project “Primary Care Teaching Program Using Camden as our Classroom.” Involving faculty from Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Psychiatry, the integrated program provides a primary care clinic site for Camden residents, and will immerse CMSRU students in the clinical, philosophical and public health aspects of primary care from their earliest school days.

“From the beginning, our medical students will have the opportunity to work in an urban clinic environment that will provide healthcare to needy children and adults,” explains Vijay Rajput, MD, Assistant Dean for Curriculum at CMSRU and project director. “We believe that providing students with the opportunity to impact the health of patients who may otherwise not receive medical care will be a rewarding learning experience, and help motivate these bright young people to choose careers in primary care.”

The U.S. currently has 352,908 primary care doctors, and the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates that 45,000 more will be needed by 2020. If not aggressively addressed, the shortage of primary care could create a significant health crisis due to limited or no access and delayed treatment for serious conditions. 

Primary Care Training and Enhancement grants were made available to institutions committed to boosting the primary care workforce in the United States. “Investing in our nation’s primary care workforce is essential to ensuring that we can meet the health care needs of the growing and aging population. The awards announced today are an important part of the Administration’s commitment to building the health care workforce for the 21st Century,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

About Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU)

Rowan University and The Cooper Health System partnered in June 2009 to establish Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, the first new medical school in New Jersey in 30 years.  Located in Camden, New Jersey, CMSRU received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in June 2011, and will welcome its inaugural class in August 2012.