Missouri’s First Rural Physician Training Program Earns Accreditation

Bothwell Regional Health Center logo
A new partnership will send select MU family medicine resident physicians to train in Sedalia.

A new program that will place family medicine doctors-in-training from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Sedalia, Mo. at Bothwell Regional Health Center has earned national accreditation. This partnership is part of a federal initiative to expand the physician workforce in rural areas across 21 states.

The newly accredited Bothwell Family Medicine Rural Training Track Residency Program will train two MU family medicine residents from each class during their second and third years of residency. Family medicine residents are medical school graduates who train for three years before going into independent practice in a specialty that provides care for the entire family from birth through the end of life. The MU School of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine residency has been recognized as one of the nation’s top graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Laura Morris, MD
Laura Morris, MD

“This is the first true rural residency training track program in the state of Missouri,” said Laura Morris, MD, associate program director at the MU Family Medicine Residency program. “Sedalia’s location allows our resident physicians to experience unique training opportunities that will prepare them for a future practice serving rural patients and addressing their needs.”

This new program enhances the School of Medicine’s Rural Scholars Program, which is designed to improve the supply and distribution of physicians in the state to combat the rural physician shortage. Other key components of the program include a pre-admission program for undergraduate students from rural areas who wish to pursue rural medicine, lectures, mentoring and clinical program for medical students interested in rural practice, and rural clerkship and elective programs for third and fourth-year medical students. 

While in Sedalia, the family medicine resident physicians will train under the guidance of practicing physicians employed by Bothwell Regional Health Center. The residents will make daily hospital rounds, see patients in clinic and work with obstetrics, behavioral health and other medical specialties.

“Bothwell has hosted third-year medical students on rotation for more than a year, and this program is a natural progression of our partnership with the MU School of Medicine,” said Robert Frederickson, MD, Bothwell residency program director. “We’re excited to offer these second and third-year family medicine residents a long-term, single-site learning environment that offers community-based training in our growing clinics, busy emergency department and intensive care unit.”

The first family medicine residents are expected to begin training in Sedalia in 2022. Those physicians will be ready to enter independent clinical practice in July 2025.