Five years ago, the MU School of Medicine opened a second clinical campus in Springfield as part of an initiative to train more physicians for Missouri, where 90% of counties do not have enough doctors. By expanding to Springfield, MU could increase its class sizes from 96 to as many as 128.
But for the initiative to work, the students who spent their final two years of medical school at the Springfield Clinical Campus needed to receive exceptional training and have a great experience. Murphy Mastin, one of nine MU medical students who were the Springfield pioneers, recalled being nervous about the unknown.
“In the back of my mind, I worried if being in Springfield would affect my residency match, but that was not the case at all,” said Mastin, who will be completing his dermatology residency at the Mayo Clinic in 2022. “I got hands-on experience being first-assist on surgery cases and working closely in the clinics with physicians. They let me grow and gave me valuable learning opportunities.”
Mastin, his wife and daughter are already looking forward to him practicing medicine in Missouri after he completes his residency and then a one-year fellowship in dermatopathology at the University of Virginia. Mastin will be the first dermatologist in more than seven years at Citizen’s Memorial Hospital in Bolivar.
“I’m really excited and have already started having talks about establishing my practice,” Mastin said. “I always knew I’d return to the Springfield area. I love the community. Missouri is probably where I will practice the rest of my life.”
All MU medical students spend their first two years in Columbia for preclerkship training and spend their final two years in either Columbia or Springfield. The Springfield Clinical Campus is a partnership with CoxHealth and Mercy hospitals, where the students receive clinical training.
“Each year, our Springfield campus medical students have the opportunity to learn one-on-one from private practitioners at CoxHealth and Mercy who volunteer their time and talents to train the next generation,” said Springfield Clinical Campus associate dean David Haustein, MD. “The breadth and depth of clinical experiences available to students in Springfield is truly remarkable, and our students, like Dr. Mastin, often match into top residency programs across the country.”
Mastin was assisted financially by receiving the Springfield Medical Student Scholarship. Mastin aspires to become a professor at the School of Medicine and hopes to have students rotate through his practice so he can do for them what the doctors in Springfield did for him.
“I’m just super thankful for the opportunities I had at Springfield, and it played a huge role in where I ended up and where I will ultimately carry on my career,” Mastin said. “The campus is doing important work, and my experience was definitely life-changing. I would encourage any medical student with interest in experiencing community practice to try this experience.”