University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine

Oct 19, 2015

Bryant Scholars Program Expands to All Four-year Missouri Universities, Colleges

Program to address physician shortage in rural Missouri

The University of Missouri School of Medicine is expanding its Bryant Scholars Program, a program designed to train more physicians to practice in rural areas, to all four-year universities and colleges in Missouri. Through this expansion, students from 24 additional universities will be eligible to apply to the MU School of Medicine’s Bryant Scholars Pre-admissions Program, bringing the total number of eligible institutions to 37.

Kathleen Quinn, PhD


“The MU School of Medicine is in a key position to increase the physician workforce in rural Missouri,” said Kathleen Quinn, PhD, associate dean for rural health. “Medical students who have grown up in rural Missouri are more likely to practice in those areas, when compared to their classmates from urban areas. This expansion will help keep rural students in Missouri for medical school and, ultimately, rural practice.”

According to Quinn, 77 percent of Bryant Scholars now practice in Missouri, and 69 percent of that group practice in rural locations. Quinn says starting in academic year 2015-16, students from all four-year universities and colleges in Missouri will be eligible for the program. In addition, students attending Missouri public or independent two-year colleges may be eligible to apply for pre-admission to the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

Quinn says students currently enrolled at a two-year college will need to provide proof of acceptance at a Missouri four-year public or independent college or university at the time of application, and upon acceptance into the Bryant Scholars Program, provide enrollment verification at the four-year college or university they are attending.

The Bryant Scholars program is a cooperative effort among Missouri colleges and universities and the MU School of Medicine. Through the program, eligible undergraduate college students are pre-admitted to medical school at MU. For pre-admission, undergraduate college students are required to achieve certain academic standards, demonstrate ongoing professional conduct and participate in required activities.

Quinn says acceptance into the Bryant Scholars program is based on students’ high academic achievement, commitment to a career in rural medicine, personal characteristics expected of quality physicians and a small-town or rural background.

“There only are 104 seats available in a current MU School of Medicine class, and up to 15 of those are reserved for Bryant Scholars,” said Quinn. “Each year, MU receives close to 2,000 applications for medical school, so being pre-admitted into the program can be a huge benefit for students.”

Bryant Scholars are exposed to the MU School of Medicine’s curriculum during their undergraduate studies, in addition to having access to medical school faculty and staff at retreats. During their junior year in college, Bryant Scholars are required to participate in a mentorship program with a rural physician, job shadowing and devoting time to career guidance and professional development. They also get the chance to develop relationships with other Bryant Scholars, which can help ease the anxiety some students face when transitioning to medical school.

The Bryant Scholars Program began in 1995 as part of the Rural Track Pipeline Program at the MU School of Medicine. It is named after Lester Bryant, M.D., who served as dean of the MU School of Medicine from 1989 to 1998 and created the program to address the shortage of physicians in Missouri. For more information about the Bryant Scholars Program, please visit

Photo: Download a high-resolution photo of Kathleen Quinn, PhD

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