ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester’s largest hospital system believes a deal with the country’s largest medical school will result help address the shortage of doctors.
Rochester Regional Health’s new partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine has been several years in the making. RRH will become the largest clinical training site for LECOM.
“Most people around the country understand that there’s a real need for physicians,” said Dr. Eric Bieber, Rochester Regional Health president and CEO.
There is a nationwide shortage of primary care doctors, and this possible solution will get a boost through the new partnership. With campuses in Elmira and several other cities, LECOM bills itself the largest medical school in the country. The 10-year partnership will see 100 third-and-fourth-year medical students in clinical training on RRH campuses — which could have a major impact on the shortage of primary care physicians locally.
“We are excited about this opportunity for our students to train in the largest health care system in upstate New York,” said Dr. Richard Terry, dean of LECOM in Elmira. “One with a sincere commitment to providing outstanding health care to the communities they serve.”
“This is going to be fabulous for our community,” said Dr. Richard Alweis, RRH chief medical officer of education. “This is going to be an amazing way for people in our community to achieve careers that they may not have otherwise been able to achieve.”
The move also boosts the position of Rochester Regional Health campuses as teaching hospitals. Seventy-percent of LECOM graduates go into primary care. Anyone in the medical field will tell you — they’ll take all the good doctors they can get.
“This is a big deal for Upstate New York,” said Bieber. “It’s a big deal for Rochester.”
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. will face a shortage of between nearly 40,000 and 124,000 physicians by the year 2034. Those numbers include both primary care and specialty care.