The first new medical school in 50 years may be coming to St. Cloud.

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The University of Minnesota and central Minnesota's largest healthcare providers are teaming up to bring us this new medical school to Saint Cloud. The school will be focused on rural health, much like the University of Duluth campus that was opened way back in 1972.

If the school is approved, the medical school, which is a partnership between the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud-based CentraCare, may be opening its doors in the year 2025.

Dr. JaKub Tolar, Dean of the University of Minnesota's medical school, says, "This is an enormous problem. We want to do something about this. And it is embarrassingly simple: If you want to have health care in rural Minnesota, you have to have doctors and clinical teams in rural Minnesota."

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash
Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash


Rural patients have to face long wait times, travel far distances, and may experience negative, or poorer outcomes because of those issues. The medical facilities involved want to give new physicians a chance to be integrated into our local communities, hoping that some of them may choose to stay in those local areas after their training is complete. It has been proven successful in the past with other partnerships.

The St. Cloud campus would have 20 to 24 students each year and expand residency programs in mental health, general surgery, and pediatrics, which are some of the areas affected by the physician shortage in rural areas.

The University of Minnesota and CentraCare are also partnering up on a family practice residency program that is planning on expanding to Willmar.

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