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Missouri university medical program pairs students, seniors

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A program at the University of Missouri’s medical school pairs first-year medical students with elderly adults in the community.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the school’s Senior Teacher Educator Partnership helps reverse stereotypes about age and builds empathy among students training to become medical professionals.

Nearly 80 elderly adults and more than 70 students are participating in the program this year. Seniors must be over 65 years old and commit to monthly meet-ups at the medical school.

Med students Alex Oserowsky and Maren Heller were matched with Jack and Terry Meinzenbach, who have been involved in the program since 2010.

Jack Meinzenbach says the meetings give them more opportunities to talk about their health.

The program’s future remains uncertain due to budget cuts and changes in funding.