LILLINGTON, N.C. -- Nestled in the heart of rural Harnett County, is the future of modern day medicine. The first students ever to become physicians at Campbell University.
"All of their standards are going to be set by us so we're going to have to set the bar high," said Med student Tiffany Payne, of Lexington.
The 96,500 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is the first school of medicine to open in North Carolina since the 1970s.
Their mission, to produce much needed primary care physicians to serve in rural regions with little to no healthcare options.
"At a time when we rank 34th out of 50 in primary care providers per capita, in a time when we have 20 counties without a single general surgeon. And so our aspiration is to train the next generation of primary care providers, and general specialist in North Carolina," said Dr. John Kauffman, dean of the Campbell School of Osteopathic Medicine.
And with a growing and aging population, demand for doctors is expected to rise. Campbell University hopes to meet those needs with the states second largest med school.
The first class is expected to graduate in 2017.
"Things are changing to be more towards quality and not quantity, and so I think that its more important to get more doctors out there that are focused on quality of care," said Wesley Jones, a student from Illinois.
What attracted many students to Campbell is the hands on learning. They have numerous simulation labs where instructors throw out real life scenarios from a control room.
"It's going to give us the real feel for what a hospitals going to be like and I think that's extremely important because then you don't go into your residency and have that kind of shock. You're trained to be in that position,” said Richard Baggaley, a student from Utah.
Training, studying and practice to fill the void in a state on the verge of a healthcare crisis.