Stephens Memorial Hospital Partners
With Tufts University School of Medicine & Maine
Medical Center to Become Maine's First Rural Teaching
Maine Health announced today that Stephens Memorial
Hospital is the first rural hospital in Maine to partner
with Boston's Tufts University School of Medicine and
Maine Medical Center to become a teaching site for
The innovative partnership is
aimed at addressing the severe shortage of physicians in
Maine, a shortage heightened in rural areas. "This is a
positive step to address the physician shortage that
Maine and the nation is experiencing," said Timothy A.
Churchill, president and chief executive officer of
Western Maine Health.
As an indication of just
how severe the physician shortage is, the Maine
Recruitment Center at the Maine Hospital Association is
currently trying to fill 272 vacant physician positions
in Maine. Dr. William Medd, who serves on the Stephens
Memorial Hospital and MaineHealth boards said, "The
medical school relationship will be very helpful in
attracting new doctors to our hospital and will provide
a clinical environment for the students to learn about
providing high-quality medical care to our
Past efforts to address the physician
shortage have included a partnership with The Maine
Practice Network to host students, on a short-term
basis, for specific clinical rotations with physicians.
This new partnership with Maine Medical Center and Tufts
will take Stephens Memorial's involvement with medical
students to a higher level by teaching the students and
showing them what it is like to practice in a rural
Gregory Hardy, M.D., community hospital
coordinator, stated "It is a great honor and an awesome
responsibility to be selected as the rural pilot site.
For our medical staff, hospital and community to be
involved with teaching the doctors of the future is more
than exciting. It is vital to improving health care in
the great state of Maine. We will strive to make this a
model for success that others may follow."
students will spend their first two years at Tufts in
Boston with rotations in Maine, then transition to Maine
Medical Center for their third year of medical school.
During this third year, students training at Stephens
Memorial Hospital will live and learn in the Oxford
Hills area, with Stephens Memorial Hospital providing
housing. The curriculum will focus on rural and
"We're extremely pleased to
have Stephens Memorial commit to this program as the
first rural teaching site," stated Peter Bates, MD,
interim dean of the Maine Medical Center/Tufts
University School of Medicine Medical Education Program.
"This commitment speaks well of the high-quality
physicians, teaching faculty, and dedicated
administration focused on providing a superior education
experience," said Bates, who added, "Stephens Memorial
is a great model for the program and may serve as an
example for other rural hospitals in Maine."
MMC.TUSM class of 36 students is almost full. Students
studying in Maine will receive preference for 20 of the
36 seats, seats that are especially attractive because
it is anticipated that students will receive a 50
percent reduction in tuition. Considering that most
physicians come out of residency programs with more than
$250,000 in medical school loans, the tuition reduction
will likely be a strong incentive for students.
The program starts during the summer of 2011,
with preceptor sessions in August, 2009, and spring,
2010, at Stephens Memorial Hospital. Graduating
physicians will receive a combined diploma from Maine
Medical Center and Tufts.