MedServe is a winning idea

May 14, 2016 • Morgan Howard • No Comments

There aren’t enough primary care physicians in the United States, and the problem is getting worse. In the 2007 North Carolina report, “State Likely to Face Severe Shortage Over Next 20 Years,” a task force convened by the NC Institute of Medicine concluded that “without major changes in the health care delivery system or significant increases in the number of physicians, the state is likely to face a severe shortage of physicians.”

The projected shortage is a problem that CUBE venture MedServe is addressing through entrepreneurship.

MedServe is a two-year program that brings aspiring physicians to work with mentor physicians in rural and underserved regions of North Carolina. In other words, it’s like a Teach for America for recent college graduates. Starting this summer, MedServe will send its first cohort of 12 recent college graduates to work with seasoned physicians in 12 areas, to the very corners of North Carolina.

Although MedServe is still in its startup phase, people are rallying around their concept: The 12 clinics who have agreed to host, the pilot program’s 80 applicants from 30 universities across the United States, and the people and organizations who have contributed money, goods, and services totalling over $300,000 all believe that this idea willl work.

UNC system president Margaret Spellings introduced the MedServe co-founders, Anne Steptoe and Patrick O’Shea, to the Board of Governers during her second presidential report last month, congratulating the startup for winning the North Carolina Social Entrepreneurship Contest. Social entrepreneurs Steptoe and O’Shea are both matriculating towards MBA degrees at Duke while respectively pursing MDs from Brown University and Carolina.

Excellent ideas like MedServe’s must be both nurtured and challenged over time if they are to spin out into sustainable organizations that make a real difference in the world. In addition to co-working space, financial support, workshops and strategic resources MedServe gets from CUBE, they work with Duke’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship and receive intensive support from the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program (NC AHEC).

We are proud to play our role in North Carolina’s ecosystem of social innovation by supporting Steptoe and O’Shea as they help more recent college graduates find mentorship-rich pathways to primary care medicine.



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