Apr 14, 2014

USD Sanford School of Medicine expanding medical class sizes to meet growing health care needs of South Dakota

VERMILLION, S.D. -- In an effort to meet the need of an aging state population and the increasing demands placed on health care providers under the Affordable Care Act, the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine will expand its medical school class size in the fall of 2015.

Eleven students will be added per class during the next four years, according Dr. Mary Nettleman, M.D. M.S., M.A.C.P., dean of the Sanford School of Medicine and vice president for health affairs at USD. Currently, there are 56 students admitted to the M.D. program annually. The expansion is under the directive of the Governor’s Primary Care Task Force, which is examining the problems affiliated with a potential lack of rural health care for South Dakotans in the future.

“The South Dakota Department of Health estimates that there will be a need to expand the primary health care workforce by 13 to 17 percent,” Nettleman explained. “This expansion will be needed in other medical areas as well, including surgeons and specialty doctors particularly as the state’s population gets older.”

This expansion provides additional opportunities for talented South Dakota students to become physicians. The med school has a strong focus on providing a workforce for the state and more than 90 percent of the current first-year class has residency status.  With outstanding board scores and board pass rates, the USD Sanford School of Medicine is ranked in the top of the nation on several key characteristics, including producing physicians who work in rural areas and training students in primary care fields.  

About the Sanford School of Medicine

For more than a century, the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine has set the standard for medical education of students, residents and professionals in the state. The school’s mission includes education, research and service. It emphasizes family practice to help create the next generation of doctors for all parts of the state. The school’s economic impact includes attracting $17 million annually in research funding as well as hosting two of the four 2010 Research Centers designated by the governor.

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at www.usd.edu/press/news.

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Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
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