School of Medicine awarded $3.8 million in HRSA grants to expand primary care residency programs

Grants will fund additional residents in internal medicine and family medicine programs

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine has received two five-year grants totaling more than $3.8 million from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to expand the school’s internal medicine and family care residency programs. The grants are being funded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in response to the national, regional, and local shortage of primary care physicians in the United States. These shortages are projected to worsen significantly over the next several years as older doctors retire and fewer medical school graduates enter primary care fields.

Like many states, Missouri is feeling the effects of the shortage of primary care providers. Jackson, Clay, Platte, and Cass are surrounded by seven counties that, in whole or in part, have been designated as medically underserved or health professional shortage areas. Currently, no primary care residency programs exist in this region of the state outside of Kansas City.

“The UMKC School of Medicine is committed to addressing these challenges by training a primary care workforce trained to meet the needs of both urban and rural populations,” said Betty M. Drees, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “These grants will allow us to expand these important programs as part of our ongoing mission to advance the health of our community.”

The UMKC Internal Medicine Residency program features a unique combination of training — the rich tradition of learning at a not-for-profit acute-care hospital system alongside the innovative care of a large private referral center. Residents in the program split their training between Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill, a nationally recognized safety net hospital, and Saint Luke’s Hospital, a nationally recognized tertiary care center. The goal of the program is to graduate more general internists desiring to remain in primary care. Emphasis will also be placed on encouraging graduates to remain and practice in Missouri.

The UMKC Community and Family Medicine Residency is one of the largest family medicine programs in the country. Housed at Truman Medical Center Lakewood, the program has more graduates than any single Midwest residency over the past 20 years. The HRSA grant will be used to expand the residency program to the rural areas of Western Missouri with the goal of increasing the number of family physicians training and practicing in rural and underserved areas of Missouri.

Click here to listen to Dr. Todd Shaffer talk about the grants on KCUR

About the UMKC School of Medicine

The UMKC School of Medicine was founded in 1971 as an innovative combined degree program. From its baccalaureate/MD curriculum to a docent system that emphasizes small group learning, the school has remained a trendsetter in medical education and research. For more information about the UMKC School of Medicine, visit You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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