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GVSU-MSU Partner To Address Physician Shortage

Doctor's coat
Pixabay | CC BY 2.0

Grand Valley State University pre-med students will soon benefit from a new agreement signed this week by GVSU and Michigan State University.  The partnership grants pre-med students early assurance of admission into the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

“This gives our students opportunity to get early admission to the College of Osteopathic Medicine at the end of their junior year.”

Jean Nagelkerk is the Vice Provost for Health at Grand Valley State University.  She says the new agreement between GVSU and Michigan State University’s College Of Osteopathic Medicine, signed earlier in the week, is good news for pre-med students at GVSU.  And early admission is not the only benefit.

“It also provides them the opportunity, as they come in as freshmen students, to get, additional advising, focus mentoring from a healthcare provider and then they get to have a chance to have some clinical learning experiences, so they can make sure that medicine is what they would like to do.”

Nagelkerk says preference will be given to students who are first generation college students or graduates of a high school in a medically underserved rural or urban area.

“Especially the rural settings. its very difficult to have physicians go into those places to practice. So, this is one opportunity for a lot of our students. We have students in every, single county in the state of Michigan. So, if they want to return home, to a rural area, it’s very beneficial for them.”

Nagelkerk says the early assurance program helps address a physician shortage and fill in any gaps in the talent pipeline.  It also allows students to broaden their knowledge base.

“So, that the final year or their senior year at Grand Valley, they can work on those projects and experiences that will make them a better clinician.  They do the study abroad program.  They do help and healthcare areas, they can do more research opportunities.”

Qualified students can apply to the MSU COM program in early February for admission in 2020.  The agreement reserves up to five positions for GVSU students per year.

Grand Valley and Grand Rapids Community College entered a similar agreement with MSU’s College of Human Medicine in 2012.


Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.