Friday, July 1, 2016

Housing Challenges in Kansas Rural Education

For 65 years, the University of Kansas School of Medicine has sent students throughout Kansas to participate in rural clinical rotations during the first, third and fourth years of medical school.
Interest in rural rotations has risen consistently over time. While the increased student demand is welcome and much needed, rural resources are quickly becoming taxed. These communities not only host medical students, but also accept students from other disciplines, including physical therapy, nursing and physician assistants, causing competition for housing to become an issue.

The KU School of Medicine works with rural communities to provide housing for students who are placed outside of Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth, Sedgwick and Wyandotte counties. Housing varies from site to site, but can include “on-call” hospital rooms, community member’s homes, motel rooms or apartments.

However, recent financial strains have made budgets tight for some local health care institutions, leading to the loss of available housing in some communities. Without housing, medical students are unable to complete rotations.

The KU School of Medicine has been exploring solutions to not only help students, but also the rural communities that support these programs. The School of Medicine is seeking assistance in identifying new ideas to address these housing issues. If you have any suggestions, please contact Dr. Michael Kennedy, associate dean for Rural Health Education.

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