HAGERSTOWN, Md. (DC News Now) — Statistics show the United States has a shortage of physicians and the state of Maryland is experiencing that as well.

Meritus health is taking the first steps to help combat this problem as they hosted a groundbreaking for the Meritus School of Osteopathic Medicine.

The institution will give students hands-on training in their field through a variety of methods including state-of-the-art simulations and virtual anatomy.

Hospital officials hope the students will do their residency at Meritus Medical center thereby easing the doctor crunch.

“Areas are underserved for physicians and this allows us to train medical school students who will eventually go to residency and more likely stay in practice in communities like us,” President and CEO of Meritus Health Dr. Maulik Joshi explained.

“We have a terrible shortage of physicians and other healthcare workers and I think this is just an incredible opportunity for Meritus to do something and there’s a huge demand for it,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said.

The school is expected to welcome its first class in 2025.