“We’re proud of our almost 20-year partnership with USC School of Medicine and look forward to continuing it so that we can help our region meet the healthcare challenges ahead of it,” Riordan said.
USC Provost Michael Amiridis said the expansion in Greenville complements USC’s efforts to increase access to healthcare.
“Expanding the medical-education program in Greenville complements USC’s initiatives to provide more healthcare professionals, from nursing and pharmacy to social work and public health, for South Carolina,” Amiridis said.
In recent years, USC has increased the number of undergraduate nursing majors through its eight-campus system, implemented new bachelor’s-degree programs in the Arnold School of Public Health and in social work, and integrated its pharmacy-education program with one at the Medical University of South Carolina to establish the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, which has already expanded its statewide mission. Approximately 25 SCCP students receive some of their training at GHS during their fourth year.
According to an August 2010 article in The Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association, South Carolina’s capacity for educating physicians has not kept pace with the state’s needs, and the state ranks 43rd in the number of primary-care physicians per 100,000 residents.
Written by former USC President Andrew A. Sorensen, the article cites data from the Association of American Medical Colleges showing that the per-capita rate of first-year medical students dropped from 5.96 per 100,000 in 1994 to 5.47 per 100,000 in 2008. In contrast, the Southeastern average is 5.56, and the national average is 5.86.
Amiridis said the expanded medical-education program will feature innovative teaching practices, including sending students to community primary-care settings earlier to expose them to patient care. The program will have a dean who will report to the provost in Columbia.