Leaders from Meharry Medical College and Middle Tennessee State University recently signed an agreement to develop an accelerated pathway where aspiring physicians could complete an undergraduate degree and medical degree in six years through a fast-track program with select, high-ability students spending three years at each institution.
Meharry President James Hildreth, MD, and MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, EdD, launched the partnership at a State Capitol signing ceremony on June 22 that highlighted the unique collaboration between the private and public institutions. State officials helped bring the two schools together after Hildreth initially proposed an accelerated bachelors-to-doctoral degree.
"It is imperative to increase the number of primary care physicians in the state and to incentivize them to practice in underserved areas if Tennessee is to improve the overall health of its citizens," said Hildreth.
Students selected for the program would be eligible for financial aid from a $750,000 commitment put forward by the state if they commit to working in underserved areas of Tennessee for a specific duration of time, which is still to be determined. Meharry and MTSU are currently developing a joint admissions process and criteria for selection into the program with a goal of accepting the first undergraduate students at MTSU for the Fall 2018 semester.