Dear Colleagues,

Since 2016, our medical school has operated two campuses: one in Columbia and one in Springfield. Our Springfield Clinical Campus (SCC) was created in a public/private partnership with CoxHealth and Mercy to address the ongoing physician shortage in Missouri. In a state where 90% of our counties do not have enough doctors, I am proud to report that 91% of our SCC students are from Missouri. After spending two preclinical years at the MU School of Medicine in Columbia, up to 28 students in each of our M3 and M4 classes move to Springfield to gain hands-on clinical experience in southwest Missouri. 

I recently visited the SCC, and each time I do, I am struck by just how much our medical students enjoy their experience. Dr. David Haustein, SCC associate dean, served as my host for the visit, and his leadership has proven to be very beneficial for our medical school and state. 

SCC medical student, third-year student Jiji Oufattole and Dr. Barohn
It was a pleasure to meet our SCC medical students, such as third-year student Jiji Oufattole.

Engaging with and getting to know our future clinicians is one of the highlights of serving as dean. I was able to attend a pizza social with a dozen of our bright medical students. It was great to hear firsthand how much they are learning from our partner physicians from CoxHealth and Mercy, as well as Jordan Valley Community Health Center. They shared that their lectures are high-yield and very clinically relevant. It was great to hear our students speak so highly of their clinical education.

With two years of foundational knowledge gained at our Columbia campus, they are becoming very capable physicians and, upon completing their residency education, many are returning to Missouri to start their practices in family medicine, internal medicine, dermatology, emergency medicine and more. Out of our first six residency graduates from the SCC, 83% are now practicing in Missouri and 50% are practicing in southwest Missouri. They are bringing much needed medical care in specialties including family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine and dermatology.

I was also able to visit with some of our MU faculty physicians who serve our students by sharing their real-world expertise. More than 375 physicians volunteer as MU faculty members in southwest Missouri. I am very appreciative of them for training our students and providing invaluable insights.

Another highlight of serving as dean is sharing our successes and advocating for our mission. The experience that we have been able to cultivate for these students would not have been possible without the support of many, many individuals invested in seeing our medical school mission carried out. I was able to visit with elected officials, including Sen. Lincoln Hough, Rep. John Black, Rep. Betsy Fogle and Sen. Sandy Crawford.  

Springfield Clinical Campus Shelden Clinical Simulation Center
Our Springfield Clinical Campus includes the Shelden Clinical Simulation Center, which serves as a premier training hub for southwest Missouri’s health care workforce. Pictured here are Dr. Haustein, myself, Sen. Hough, fourth-year medical student Esme Nulan and Dena Higbee, director of MU’s simulation centers.

I was also able to visit Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Missouri’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center, and hear from Dr. Matt Stinson, executive vice president, and Brooks Miller, president and CEO. Jordan Valley provides individuals with health care services, medication assistance, housing needs, employment placement, legal assistance and more. They take a holistic approach to improving lives and are making a big impact in the region and state. I am proud that our students can learn from these providers.

It is always a pleasure to see the impact our medical school has on our state. Thank you to the SCC team for carrying out our mission, and I look forward to visiting again soon.


Rick Barohn, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean, School of Medicine