Fayetteville State partners with Nashville school to offer new medical degree program

Posted October 23, 2020 1:56 p.m. EDT
Updated October 23, 2020 6:15 p.m. EDT

— Leaders at Fayetteville State University have introduced a new medical degree program to create more doctors and dentists in southeastern North Carolina, an area that needs them.

On Friday, Interim Chancellor Dr. Peggy Valentine signed an agreement with Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, to put together a medical school program based at FSU.

Like FSU, Meharry is a historically Black university. It currently trains 40% of Black doctors in the country.

Since March, COVID-19 has brought out the disparities of health care in minority communities, so Valentine said the timing of the program's announcement couldn't be better.

Fayetteville State University

"We're seeing people of color dying in greater numbers," Valentine said. "They're more likely to be hospitalized, and they're more likely to have those underlying conditions which put them at greater risk of contracting this particular disease."

Students in the program will spend three years at FSU and three years at Meharry Medical College before returning to Cumberland County for three years of residency at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

The program shortens the average medical school experience by about two years and is expected to address a great need in rural areas in the state.

"As we provide more health care services for the region, we do believe we'll make a difference," Valentine said.

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