CMC welcomes inaugural class of Campbell Medicine students

Conway Medical Center (CMC) has welcomed its inaugural class of third-year Campbell Medicine students. Eleven students from the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2021 are living, learning and serving at CMC in Conway, SC over the next two years.

The affiliation between the School of Medicine and Conway Medical Center has been two years in the making. Beyond the medical students who are already on campus for experiential learning, the program will also include a Family Medicine Residence program. The first cohort of residents will arrive in July 2020. In preparation for their arrival, CMC will construct a 15,000 square foot CMC Family Residency Building next to the hospital on Myrtle Trace Drive. The building will feature 18 exam rooms, along with education space and locker rooms. Residents will complete rotations in various specialties including family medicine, cardiology, surgery, rural medicine, and disaster recovery – one of the first residencies in the state to do so. This disaster education in the residents’ curriculum will be part of CMC’s new Center for Medical Excellence in Disaster Recovery.

“This residency program will help CMC increase access to healthcare for at least 6,000 patients annually in Horry County,” said Bret Barr, President and CEO of Conway Medical Center. “Approximately 200 patients served by this program will be medically underserved. We appreciate and value the partnership with Campbell University as we continue to serve our community.”

Horry County is considered a Medically Underserved Area (MUA) and Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) by the Health Research and Services Administration (HRSA).

“We have a physician shortage in Horry County,” said Dr. Paul Richardson, CMC’s Chief Medical Officer. “As Horry County continues to grow in population, there are not enough physicians to keep up with demand. It is more difficult to recruit physicians to our area as we compete against larger metropolitan areas of the state. This residency program will give us a long-term and sustainable solution to address a growing need.”

“Undergraduate and graduate medical education in Conway will be a win-win for [everyone] involved,” said Dr. David Tolentino, associate dean for clinical affairs at the School of Medicine. “It will further solidify Conway Medical Center’s presence as the premier healthcare provider of Horry County.”

He further explained that by developing a workforce in student and resident education, CMC is helping to train students who exemplify the Campbell Mission of serving rural and underserved communities in the southeastern United States.

The family medicine residency is currently going through the accreditation process under the leadership of Dr. Donald Morando, inaugural program director.

“We look forward to the growth of medical education,” said Tolentino, “and all of the opportunities it will provide for Campbell medical students and graduates, along with the communities in and around Horry County.”