The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences officially opened its second campus Tuesday in Joplin, an expansion that school officials say will help rural areas short on doctors.
The osteopathic medicine school’s Farber-McIntire campus is expected to host about 150 students for classes that start next month. Combined with the enrollment of more than 1,000 on the main campus at 1750 Independence Avenue in Kansas City, it will make KCU one of the nation’s largest medical institutions.
The Joplin location will be Missouri’s first new medical school in 44 years. Marc Hahn, KCU’s president and CEO, said the expansion will help the region address a physician shortage estimated to grow to 100,000 nationwide by 2025.
“This is the dawning of a new era for educating osteopathic physicians locally to serve the primary care and rural health needs of Southwest Missouri and beyond,” Hahn said in a prepared statement.
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KCU broke ground on the facility last year on the site of Mercy Hospital Joplin, a temporary facility constructed after the tornado that ripped apart the city in 2011. The land and hospital were donated to the school, along with $30 million from a nonprofit foundation called the Joplin Regional Medical School Alliance.