NAU launches College of Medicine to address primary care physician shortage
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A new medical school at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff will focus on providing health care to Arizonans, especially those living in rural and Indigenous communities. University officials announced the launch of “NAU Health” and the College of Medicine to address a shortage of primary care physicians.
Instead of focusing on a traditional, specialized education model, the college will focus on educating primary care practitioners in diverse communities. The college will also allow students to focus on accelerated pathways and offer affordable options for Arizona residents. There are plans for a tuition coverage program where graduates practicing in Arizona will have their education fully covered.
NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera says the college has a goal of doubling the number of degrees in fields such as nursing, health professions and behavioral health. “I am proud to announce this bold and transformative step, which builds on NAU’s legacy of serving the people and communities of Arizona by launching NAU Health and paving the way for a College of Medicine in northern Arizona,” Rivera said in a statement.
Arizona has seen its healthcare ranking decline due to the overwhelming demand for physicians and other healthcare providers. Arizona is 32 in the nation when it comes to health care. Currently, fewer than half of the positions in graduate medical training education programs statewide are dedicated to primary care careers, officials say.
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