Medical students from Meharry Medical College gain clinical experience at Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital

Michael Yungmann

Medical students from Meharry Medical College, located in Nashville, Tenn., will gain real-world clinical experience at Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Ky. starting next January.

Mercy Health and Meharry Medical College entered into a clinical affiliation agreement in August that will see third-year medical students complete two to four-week clinical rotations in family medicine, OB/GYN and neurology at Lourdes Hospital. Mercy Health anticipates having two to four students at a time completing their rotations.

Lourdes Hospital provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient health care to patients and its leaders wanted to help medical students obtain the clinical experiences they need to progress in their knowledge of direct patient care.

“Even before the pandemic laid them bare, we knew that health iniquities existed between Black and White patients. One way to foster health equity is through increasing diversity in the ranks of our medical providers. Our partnership with Meharry Medical College, a historically Black college, helps both our organizations. The medical students will gain real-life experience caring for patients. Lourdes Hospital, its patients and caregivers will benefit from bringing in a diverse group of talented students on the brink of launching their medical careers,” said Mercy Health – Kentucky President Michael Yungmann.

Dr. James E. K. Hildreth

“For 145 years, Meharry has remained committed to providing quality healthcare for the medically underserved and has cultivated a league of healthcare professionals who aim to improve delivery and care for the country’s most vulnerable populations,” said Dr. James E. K. Hildreth, president and chief executive officer of Meharry Medical College. “Our partnership with Mercy Health supports these efforts and will provide our students with the unique learning opportunities and real-world experience needed to tackle our nation’s health disparities.”

Meharry Medical College is one of the nation’s oldest and largest historically Black academic health science centers dedicated to educating physicians, dentists, researchers, and health policy experts. Founded in 1876 as the Medical Department of Central Tennessee College, Meharry was the first medical school in the South for African Americans. It was chartered separately in 1915. A 2010 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine ranked Meharry as one of the nation’s top five producers of primary care physicians. Meharry is also a leading producer of African Americans with Ph.Ds. in biomedical sciences. In addition to providing quality professional health care education, exemplary patient care and compassionate community outreach, Meharry Medical College produces the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, a public health journal.

Lourdes Hospital serves as a regional referral center for a wide geographic region, including more than a dozen counties in western Kentucky, southern Illinois, southeast Missouri and northwest Tennessee. Lourdes Hospital offers an extensive array of medical specialties and technologies typically found in much larger urban settings.

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