News Release
Contacts: Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director
Tracy Mercer, Information Research Analyst

T: 605.773.3455
F: 605.773.5320


For Immediate Release 28 March 2002

Regents Hear Report on the USD School of Medicine

MADISON- The South Dakota Board of Regents, meeting Wednesday, March 27th at Dakota State University, heard a presentation by Dr. Robert Talley, Dean of the University of South Dakota School of Medicine (USDSM).  The School of Medicine is currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of the four-year MD degree granting program.

Talley informed the Regents on the current state of the Medical School. "I am pleased to report that the school has just completed admitting next year’s class from South Dakota applicants with the highest credentials ever," said Talley. "USDSM graduating students just completed their residency selections and over 1/3 choose to go into primary care and double the percentage nationally have chosen to go into Family Practice. The school’s research productivity has never been greater with the highest amount of external research funding ever and the highest amount of NIH grants ever received. And the SD Health Research Foundation with its Cardiovascular Institute in Sioux Falls has grown and produced beyond our expectations."


Talley reported that due to changes in the health care delivery in South Dakota and a fall in revenues from the school’ practice plan, University Physicians, the school has reevaluated its medical student education program, its teachers, and payment methods for student education.  The following strategies have been adopted:


  • The school will continue to have full functional clinical campuses in Yankton, Rapid City and Sioux Falls as well as 27 rural teaching sites.
  • The school will move closer to its roots as a community based medical school, teaching in community facilities and practicing physicians for its teachers.
  • Both Academic “core” and Clinical “community” faculty will be identified based on their interest in medical education and the time they have available to teach.
  • The school will fund the medical student educational program with state appropriations and tuition and fee revenues. 


Talley's presentation disclosed that the following changes in University Physicians, the School of Medicine’s faculty practice plan, are planned or have occurred.

1.       The former UP physicians in Rapid City have formed an independent practice group – Medical Associates of the Black Hills - and will continue as academic faculty teaching medical students. 

2.      In Sioux Falls the pediatric sub-specialists formerly with UP will join Sioux Valley in order to continue their excellent patient care to the children of SD and will continue as the academic Department of Pediatrics of the school.

3.      Similarly, McKennan Hospital will restructure the former UP Psychiatrists in to a functioning practice group who will be the school’s academic Department of Psychiatry and support the residency training of adult and child psychiatrists.

4.      University Physicians will be restructured as a small independent practice plan to supply patients to teach students and to serve to support the salary of key leaders of the school and the remaining academic faculty of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Surgery and Obstetrics.


"The school believes these changes will allow the school to continue to meet its mission to education South Dakotans to be high quality physicians who will serve the underserved areas of South Dakota," said Talley.


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