MTSU’s Bill Ketron Discusses ‘MTSU/Meharry Medical School Program’

Mar 03, 2023 at 08:39 am by Justin Stokes

Photo Credit: Pixabay (

Just like the rest of the country, Tennessee is facing a projected shortage of physicians in the coming years. Scheduled to impact everyone, this critical issue will largely impact rural communities, which make up 60% of the areas experiencing a health care shortfall. 

MTSU is aware of the health care shortfall that’s currently plaguing the state’s rural communities. Speaking on behalf of the university, MTSU Government Relations Liaison Bill Ketron says that tackling this problem is a major goal for 2023.

“Immediate access to health care is vital for Tennesseans everywhere,” Bill tells the Murfreesboro Voice. “MTSU is dedicated to improving health care accessibility for people everywhere in the state.”

Readers of the Murfreesboro Voice may recognize Ketron from his time serving as either a state senator or more recently as Rutherford County Mayor. After joining MTSU in September 2022, Bill has taken on the responsibility of finding partners at the local, state, and federal levels to bring MTSU projects to fruition. 

To help bridge the gap in rural communities’ health care access, Bill says that MTSU has joined forces with an ideal partner: Meharry Medical College (Meharry).

This partnership to bring more doctors to rural communities—known as the “Medical School Early Acceptance Program” (MSEAP)—began with an idea the current State Senate Lt. Governor Randy McNally had in 2016. McNally had envisioned a medical student accelerator program for proficient students. 

Bill says, “I was Senate Caucus Chairman at the time. McNally wanted to involve me in this initiative since I was a member of his senate caucus. He knew that I was an MTSU graduate with an affinity for the university.”

Getting Meharry on Board

Given this university’s many impressive achievements, McNally was certain that it could play an integral part in fast-tracking students into practicing medicine. After a chat with McNally, Bill was advised to reach out to Meharry’s president to start a dialog. 

“This was actually the previous president,” Bill says. “Dr. James Hildreth was appointed to come in and serve as the next president shortly after that conversation.” 

After Dr. Hildreth got settled into his position, Bill reached out to pitch his idea. While intrigued by the idea, Dr. Hildreth wanted to take a year to consider how such a program might work. 

That following year, Dr. Hildreth invited both the Lt. Governor and Bill to lunch, along with other Meharry staff members. There, the party presented Bill and the Lt. Governor with a version of the program that exceeded expectations.

“After the pitch had concluded, Dr. Hildreth said, ‘I think this could be a great opportunity. That’s when we knew that this idea was really something special,” Bill recalls.

From Farm to (Examination) Table

Since the shortage of available doctors is a problem affecting rural communities now, the program has been designed to expedite the graduation of students attending both MTSU and Meharry. The employment site Indeed says that “In total, it can take between 10 to 14 years to become a fully licensed doctor.” This duration typically includes a four-year undergraduate program, four years in medical school, and anywhere from three to seven years in a residency program to learn a desired specialty. 

Bill says, “By compressing the curriculum in both the undergraduate and medical school parts of the program, we can let our students start practicing medicine much earlier. Professors teaching in this program understand the urgency of the crisis we’re facing, and have embraced this new model.”

For the MTSU side of this program, 10 MTSU students in their third year are invited to join the cohort. Through this streamlined effort, MTSU students can reduce the time necessary to earn a medical degree to just seven years.

Students in this program sign an honorary commitment form stating that they agree to stick with the entire program and practice medicine in a rural community for two years in Tennessee.

“The best part is that students participating in the program will graduate with zero debt,” Bill says. “Normally, students who graduate from medical school try to move to larger cities to make more money. But they’re saddled with a ton of debt. By taking the weight of that debt off of their shoulders, we give students the choice of pursuing more meaningful work that lets them serve smaller communities.”

Improving Health Across Tennessee Communities 

Bill tells readers that this program formally kicked off in 2018. Originally starting as a cohort of 15 students, the program’s participants have been strategically reduced.

Bill says, “When I came to work for MTSU, I recommended that the cohort be reduced from 15 students to 10 students.”

Explaining the reduction, Bill says that this was done to ensure that the program was fully funded. He says, “We were able to get money appropriated for this. One of our other goals for this year is to get $3.6M appropriated in our budget on a recurring basis. Since I’ve taken this role at MTSU, it’s been on a nonrecurring, year-to-year basis… That makes it difficult to talk to these students since we can’t guarantee that the money will be there. If we can get this $3.6M appropriations funding secured, then we can guarantee that the money will be in the program.”

To Bill’s knowledge, this cohort is a one-of-a-kind program in the state, and nothing of its kind has been attempted by other universities. He expects this program to take off pretty quickly. 

“We're looking to have the budget request to secure appropriated funds sometime in March,” Bill says. “If we can guarantee incoming undergraduate students the chance to graduate comfortably in seven years, then this program will be a huge draw for both MTSU and Meharry.”

At the time of writing, three students were enrolled in the cohort. These students have already graduated from MTSU, and are presently enrolled at Meharry.

Bill Ketron can be reached via his office. For further information about the rural doctors program, be sure to visit the program’s website.


I NEED AN URGENT LOVE SPELL CASTER TO HELP BRING BACK EX HUSBAND AND RESTORE BROKEN MARRIAGE Hello everyone I know there is someone somewhere reading this, My name Mitchelle from Leicester city, I want to share a great work of a spell caster called Dr. Murugu, I had a fight with my partner which led to our divorce but when he left me a part of me left with him and I was sad and depressed I was stuffing something on the internet when I saw people testifying about the effectiveness of his works and I just decided to give him a try I did everything he told me to do and he assured me that before 72 hours my husband will come back to me, the next morning to my greatest surprised a car stopped outside my house and it was my husband I'm so happy he can also help you email him at Website: Call/WhatsApp +90 5380694285
I want to give thanks to Dr. Mkuru for bringing back my Ex husband. No one could have ever made me believe that the letter I’m about to write would actually one day be written. I was the world’s biggest skeptic. I never believed in magic spells or anything like this, but I was told by a reliable source (a very close co-worker) that Trust is a very dedicated, gifted, and talented person,It was one of the best things I have ever done. My love life was in shambles; I had been through two divorces and was on the brink of a third. I just couldn’t face another divorce, and I wanted to try harder to make our relationship work, but my husband didn’t seem to care. and he brake up with me again. I was confuse and do not no what to do again, rather them to get in contact with Dr. Mkuru. He did a love spell that make my husband come back to me. we are now very much happy with our self. Dr. Mkuru make him to realize how much we love and need each other. This man is for REAL and for good. he can also help you to fix your broken relationship. I had my husband back! It was like a miracle! He suddenly wanted to go to marriage counseling, and we’re doing very, very well in our love life. contact Email: or Visit his website; text or add him up on whatsApp at: +2349075998982 you can Also reach him on his Facebook Page
I can not imagine losing all my money in cryptocurrency trading scams because of a lack of information which is why I’m sharing this here with everyone who had invested their money into crypto and forex trading scams. I was lucky to find a post about SPYWEB CYBER on the internet after falling victim to this same scam and investing all my money including my retirement savings, I was promised huge profits and returns from my investments but I didn’t know I was set up to be swindled off everything. I’m glad there is a cryptocurrency and fund recovery company like SPYWEB CYBER that was able to help me retrieve all my money in hours and was able to track down these swindlers too. I’m hugely impressed and wish to share this information too. It’s very important that people are aware of these cryptocurrencies scam and can avoid them easily. If you’ve been a victim just like me, I understand how it feels to lose all your money and I recommend you contact SPYWEB CYBER to help you recover your money. REACH SPYWEB CYBER VIA E-MAIL(SPYWEB@CYBERDUDE. COM & CONTACT@SPYWEB .TECH)
I am Shane. I’m delighted to share with you guys my life changing experience. In the year 2021, I had an eviction and late payments due to my dad's health challenge, we literally spent all that we had on medical bills . This affected my credit report negatively. Even after clearing my debts, I discovered that these negative items were still on my reports. My credit score dropped to 480. When we relocated to Clark Hill from Indiana, I had all my debts cleared but discovered that these negative items were still on my credit report. Because of that, I was deprived of access to a car loan for easy access to my place of work in Indiana. I was quite confused, not knowing what to do. I knew I needed to work on my credit report but never knew how to go about it. It was then that I started sourcing where I could get help. I contacted my colleague at work to see if he had any idea on what I should do about the situation. He then suggested that I hire a hacker. He introduced me to the hacker who helped him upgrade his credit report. For some time, I had doubts, but when I could no longer bear the stress of having to go by taxi, I had no choice other than to give it a try. So I hired the Clever Credit Fix which my colleague suggested to me. He took my details and did his job. My poor credit records and negative items were all cleared, boosting my score to an excellent 805 (Equifax). With this, I now own my dream car. I can’t express how much I appreciate the work of Mr Clever. He is the best I have seen. You can contact him via his
See more or post your comment...