The University of Toledo continues its efforts to recruit medical students from northwest Ohio with 25 percent of this year’s class from the region.
Of the 177 students who started classes at the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences in August, 131 students are from Ohio with 48 of them from northwest Ohio and 26 from Lucas County. In 2014, 30 students were from northwest Ohio and 16 from Lucas County.
“We are purposely and steadily increasing the number of local students that we recruit and, ultimately, accept into our medical school,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “This is as good of a class as we have ever had, and one-fourth of them are from this area. We have to create opportunities for kids in northwest Ohio, and I believe we are doing that.”
The number of local students attending UT for medical school started to increase five years ago, according to Dr. David Pearson, assistant dean for medical school admissions.
“Ultimately, we want these students to consider practicing medicine in northwest Ohio, which is more likely because they already have roots to this region,” Pearson said.
This effort has been aided by recruitment efforts that include the Better Together Scholarship offered through UT and ProMedica, Pearson said. This $25,000 award per year is for permanent residents in the region who demonstrate intent to return to the area after they complete their medical training.
Motivating young people to stay in the region for their medical school and residency training also could help address the projected physician shortage as increased numbers of those new doctors then choose to practice here to care for our families and friends, Cooper said.
In 2013, Amanda Zakeri started medical school at UT. She graduated from Ottawa Hills High School and went on to earn her undergraduate degree from George Washington University in D.C.
“My family is from here, so I thought it would be good to return,” Zakeri said. “It is a very collaborative environment. Every student wants every student to succeed. I wanted to be in an environment where people wanted to help each other.”