The long discussed possibility of a medical school in Lafayette could soon be a reality. The soon-to-be unprecedented shortage of physicians in rural areas has led LSU Health New Orleans Chancellor Dr. Larry Hollier and Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel to elevate the conversation of bringing a medical school to the Hub City. Joey Durel joined ‘Nathan and Bernie in the Morning‘ for his weekly ‘Lafayette Live‘ segment to discuss plans for the medical school and explain why to him, it just makes sense.

The real goal is to get physicians into rural areas that are in desperate need."

"When we say new medical school, people think new and expensive buildings, but the fact of the matter is two out of the four years for primary physicians right now are here in Lafayette. It’s being done anyway," said Joey Durel.

Currently, two out of the four years of the LSU Health New Orleans program take place in Lafayette. Durel says Dr. Hollier is considering shortening the program to three years, meaning two of the three would take place in Lafayette, and if the medical school comes to fruition, all three would take place in Lafayette.

"For the rural tract, (Dr. Hollier) feels like with the infrastructure we have here, it just makes all the sense in the world," said Durel. "The real goal is to get physicians into rural areas that are in desperate need."

Part of that current infrastructure is provided by the University of Louisiana, which Durel says would have to be involved in the medical school.

"UL would definitely be a part of this," said Durel. "They would have to be-- they’re part of the infrastructure that already exists."

To listen to the full audio from the interview, click the play button below:

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