NEOMED forms new 'pipeline' with Miami

By Diane Smith | Staff Writer Published:

The Northeast Ohio Medical University now has a partner that is not in Northeast Ohio.

NEOMED officially signed a "pipeline" program agreement with Miami University in Oxford Ohio. The campus, in the southwestern part of the state, will start promoting the program to students in the program starting in Fall 2014, and sophomores will sign the following spring.

Dr. Jay A. Gershen , NEOMED president, said the program will help NEOMED solve two key problems -- a shortage of primary care physicians, and the lack of a diverse workforce, including people willing to serve in medically underserved areas.

"None of this works unless we have a great pipeline program," he said.

He noted that Miami University has 16,000 students, 12,000 of whom are undergraduates. His daughter, he noted, was one of them.

"Their pre-med program is outstanding," he said.

Dr. David Hodge, president of Miami, said students will sign up at the end of their sophomore year, and be exposed to unique programs to prepare them for their studies at NEOMED.

"We look forward to having a great relationship, a great relationship," he said.

NEOMED recently announced a similar pipeline program with Hiram College.

Dr. Erik Porfeli, director of the pipeline program at NEOMED, said five spaces will be reserved each year for Miami students. That's the same number of spaces reserved for Hiram College. the University of Akron, Kent State, Youngstown State and Cleveland State universities are guaranteed 35 slots each, and there are only 150 students in each year's freshman class.

While students may also apply for direct admission to NEOMED, he pointed out that those in the pipeline program receive unique instruction.

"This prepares them for our medical school, even before they become medical students," he said.

Similar instructional programs, he said, are provided to high school students in Windham, Ravenna and Rootstown. Since the demand exceeds the supply of instructors, the university is pursuing grants to expand the program.

Like students who come from Cleveland State and Hiram College, students at Miami will need to complete a bachelor's degree before coming to NEOMED. Students at Kent, Youngstown and Akron are able to enter NEOMED with two years of medical school under their belts, enabling them to become doctors in six years instead of eight.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139 or

dsmith@recordpub.com

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