Campbell University breaks ground on $300M medical school

Posted December 8, 2011

— For the first time in more than 35 years, North Carolina is getting a new medical school. Campbell University broke ground on the School of Osteopathic Medicine, which is expected to open in 2013. The $300 million project is expected to create 1,158 jobs during its first 10 years.

Campbell’s efforts to launch a medical school will address the growing shortage of physicians in North Carolina, according to Dr. John Kauffman, the school’s founding dean.

“Our state currently ranks 35th out of 50 in primary care physicians,” he said. “There are 20 counties without a single general surgeon and at least that many without an obstetrician. The future, however, is bright.”

Kauffman said Campbell’s medical school will eventually graduate about 200 physicians and physician assistants each year, many of whom will practice in rural, under-served regions of the state.

Students will spend their first two years training at the new facility in Buies Creek and years three and four training at community hospitals, where he expects many will live and put down roots.

The primary focus of the school will be training for primary care and family medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry and other services, with an emphasis on rural areas or regions with little or no health care options.

That focus is important to Tim McNeill, chairman of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners. McNeill fought back tears Thursday when talking about the school’s potential impact.

“It’s hard to believe there are still people in North Carolina who have to travel 80 miles to see a doctor,” he said. “This is what many are dealing with, especially in the eastern portion of the state. This school, I believe, will alleviate this. This is truly the Lord’s work.”

He was equally emotional talking about the school’s immediate boost to Harnett County, which will also see a new 50-bed hospital open in Lillington in 2012. 

At Thursday’s ceremony, Campbell also announced the name of its medical facility, the Leon Levine Medical Sciences Center, named for the Charlotte-area philanthropist and member of the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame.


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  • judyfaybarbour Dec 15, 2011

    I live right behind where the school is being built, Keith Hills. I am happy to get this new neighbor because my property values will be increasing due to prospective "high pockets" that will be looking for housing in this poor real estate market. Way to go Campbell!!

  • ThinkPlease Dec 15, 2011

    Campbell University is not a state funded school.

  • pbjbeach Dec 15, 2011

    Question ?

    How many more medical schools does this sate need a, where will tye funding come from to pay for it . does campbell university have some rich politicans mainly republican politicans line up to secured the funding for this state supported school or will they once agina be digging in to the poscket of the states taxpaying citizens to fund this endevor. an then theses same citzen will be build out the wazoo once agina when they make use oft he service that will utlimately be provided if this school is built. if you ask me it is just more privatization of state services bulit for an run by private enterprize where that some coporation willonce again be allowed to benefit at the expense of the states taxpaying citizens. my vote says no do not build it. thank you

  • gallbury Dec 15, 2011

    I sure hope they do a better job with the medical school than they did with the divinity school. After four days of that dogmatic, pontificating insanity I demanded my tution back, jumped in my car, and sped away.

  • dldobbins Dec 13, 2011

    I think this a great opportunity!! For Campbell University, Harnett County and surrounding communities and for the medical professionals. Way to go Campbell!!

  • LuvLivingInCary Dec 13, 2011

    the best way to bring down healthcare costs is to have more physicians..this is why you see attorneys a dime a dozen because all the law schools churn them out by the thousands each year.

  • itsnotmeiswear Dec 9, 2011

    "There needs to be more incentives for upcoming medical students to want to specialize in that practice" dbop90

    BINGO! This is the single biggest problem with medical care in the US. It significantly drives up cost because students need to pick a specialty to pay off their loans. I think student loan forgiveness similar to programs already in place for public service is the place to start.

  • yesimagirl Dec 9, 2011

    Wow, I think this sounds like a creative solution!

  • carolinaprincess62 Dec 9, 2011

    A D.O. is just as good if not better than an MD!

  • dbop90 Dec 9, 2011

    I think the primary care shortage is most likely caused by the fact the PC specialty frankly doesn't pay well compared to other medical doctor specialties such as orthopedics, neurology, or oncology. Why put the effort in for medical school and residency when you can make almost 2x, 3x, or 4x what a primary care or family care physician can earn. There needs to be more incentives for upcoming medical students to want to specialize in that practice