DRMC partnering with Liberty University to expand graduate offerings

DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - The Danville Regional Medical Center is partnering with Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine to expand its Graduate Medical Education Program.

Beginning August 2016, DRMC, in partnership with Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County and local physician practices, will train approximately 20 third-year Liberty University medical students. The students will live in Danville and do the majority of their clinical rotations locally.

The inaugural class of students have been going through classes the last two years and are now ready to go out into the field. Students will spend ten months rotating through various areas of care to help them decide what area they may want to specialize in.

"Pediatrics, obstetrics, surgery, medicine, hospital based medicine, rural health clinics. So, each month they'll go through a different rotation," said Alan Larson, Market President and DRMC Chief Executive Officer.

Larson also said that studies show hospitals that act as teaching centers often see their quality of care increase.

"If you have to stop and answer questions for bright, young students who are asking 'well, why do you do it that way?', that allows you to think; give an explanation and allows you to focus on the care you're delivering to the patient," continued Larson.

By 2025, the demand for physicians will exceed supply by a range of 46,000 to 90,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

"We are thrilled to partner with Liberty University to help ensure that medical students can continue their training in the Dan River region" said Larson. "This benefits the students as they broaden their experience and establish relationships among those who could potentially become their colleagues. Most importantly, it will have a positive impact on our patients, who will benefit from the innovations in medicine that these new minds will bring to patient care and the patient experience."

Currently, DRMC trains approximately 59 medical students and resident physicians.

"As a teaching hospital, DRMC is helping to address the high demand for skilled healthcare professionals and will ensure that our community continues to have access to high-quality care" said Larson.

In addition to training medical students and resident physicians, DRMC also partners with James Madison University and Elon University to train physician assistant students and with Averett University to train baccalaureate nursing students. These students rotate throughout the hospital and work with closely with physicians and nursing staff.

This is not the first such partnership for the hospital. The hospital has had essentially the same partnership with Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg since 2010.