Novant Health Rowan Medical now a teaching hospital

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and Campbell University's Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine announced today an agreement that will establish Rowan Medical Center as a teaching hospital for the school's medical students.

The clinical partnership will include training in the areas  on primary care, family medicine, general surgery, OB/GYN, pediatrics, psychiatry and other critical services with an emphasis on the unique needs of underserved communities.

"This relationship will be beneficial for our medical center and community in a number of ways from enhancing our ability to recruit future doctors to boosting the local economy," says Dari Caldwell, president of Rowan Medical Center.

The first year of the program will consist of 22 third year students and grow to include 44 third and fourth year Campbell students who will receive clinical training from physicians affiliated with Rowan Medical Center. Rowan physicians participating in the program will become part of the faculty of the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine.

"Campbell University is proud to have a presence in Rowan County and to partner with Rowan Medical Center to train the next generation of primary care and general specialists for North Carolina," says John Kauffman, Dean of the medical school.

With a projected shortage of physicians in this country to reach more than 50,000 by 2020, smaller communities will find themselves increasingly underserved. This program will not only help train physicians, but is specifically designed to meet the needs of more rural communities.

Nearly one in five medical students in the United States is attending an osteopathic medical school. In addition to studying all of the typical subjects you would expect student physicians to master, osteopathic medical students take approximately 200 additional hours of training in the art of osteopathic manipulative medicine.

This system of hands-on techniques helps alleviate pain, restores motion, supports the body's natural functions and influences the body's structure to help it function more efficiently.

One key concept osteopathic medical students learn is that structure influences function. Thus, if there is a problem in one part of the body's structure, function in that area, and possibly in other areas, may be affected.

Another integral tenet of osteopathic medicine is the body's innate ability to heal itself. Many of osteopathic medicine's manipulative techniques are aimed at reducing or eliminating the impediments to proper structure and function so the self-healing mechanism can assume its role in restoring a person to health.

Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine accepted its first class of 162 first-year medical students in August 2013. The rotation program is scheduled to begin at Rowan Medical Center in June 2015.