Campbell Medicine and Harnett Health celebrate partnership in medical education

LILLINGTON, NOrth Carolina – Campbell University medical students and leadership celebrated partnership in medical education with Harnett Health.  Campbell medical students began making rounds Monday, July 27th with Harnett Health physicians at Central Harnett Hospital, Betsy Johnson Hospital, and clinics within the Harnett Health organization.

Today, Campbell administrators, faculty, and students gathered with Harnett Health leadership and staff as well as community officials and supporters to celebrate the partnership announced in January 2014 now being a reality that already has a positive impact on healthcare in the community surrounding Campbell University.

“Collaboration and teamwork are not new for Campbell University and Harnett Health,” said Kevin Jackson, interim president of Harnett Health.  “In 1987 Campbell pharmacy students began training on Harnett Health campuses…and in 2012 students from Campbell’s Physician Assistant program began their journey of hands-on education at Harnett Health…today, it is exciting to hear from the medical students about their training with Harnett Health.”

“Today is an historic day for Harnett County, Harnett Heath, and Campbell University,” said Dr. John Kauffman, dean of the medical school.  “A day of realized visions and dreams. The vision of Dr. Jerry M. Wallace to see a medical school training physicians for rural and underserved North Carolina.  The vision of Mike Nagowski and the leadership of Harnett Health to see a health system become an academic medical center. And although the dream is yet to be fully realized the next chapter has begun.”

The medical students training with Harnett Health have spent the past two years studying at Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine in Buies Creek. They will spend the next two years learning hands-on medicine alongside Harnett Health’s physician medical staff while continuing to live in the Buies Creek area and becoming members of the community.  Harnett Health is in Region 3 – one of 5 Regional Campuses established across North Carolina where Campbell has training partnerships with community hospitals and clinics – and Dr. Michelle Langaker is the Director of Medical Education for the Region.

“Having medical students as part of a healthcare team adds an invaluable perspective,” said Langaker.  “We teach them to take the patient’s history, evaluate the patient, and come up with a differential diagnosis during the first two years of medical school, and it takes them about 30 minutes to go through that process at this stage of their training – at the end it will take about 30 seconds.  Medical students ask questions and approach these processes differently than a physician long in practice – this fresh, questioning perspective can often be valuable in the development of treatment plans for patients.”

Two medical students, Anne Marie Pop and Anthony Parker also shared testimonials regarding why they chose to remain in the Harnett County community to continue their medical education.

“As members of the first class, we have had the distinctive first opportunity to work closely with many of our faculty who practice in the local community,” said Pop.  “When considering rotation placements, this was an aspect of Harnett Health that drew our attention – by working with Harnett Health, we get the opportunity to continue the relationship built in the classroom out into the medical community.”

“I am from a small North Carolina town,” shared Parker – a native of Wallace, NC.  “I was born in a community hospital not unlike Harnett Health, so I understand the importance of quality health care in the community setting.  I chose to do my clinical rotations here because I knew I would have one-on-one training with the attending physicians and be part of healthcare teams passionate about the community they serve.”

The third-year medical students will continue their training at Harnett Health through their 4th year of medical school annually and will be joined in July 2016 by Family Medicine and Internal Medicine residents.