College welcomes second class of pre-medical students

May 26, 2023

The College of Community Health Sciences welcomed the 2023 Class of the Tuscaloosa Rural Pre-Medical Internship, a program for college students in pre-medical studies who are interested in rural primary care practice.

TRPI is a seven-week summer program that provides opportunities for students to learn about the health needs of rural Alabama residents, particularly in the fields of family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. Participants also gain a better understanding of the day-to-day life of family medicine doctors. In addition, the program seeks to enhance students’ understanding of medical school and increase their competitiveness for medical school admission.

The program is part of the College’s Rural Programs and its Rural Health Leaders Pipeline. The pipeline is a sequence of programs from high school through medical school that recruit students from rural Alabama interested in working as future doctors and other health care professionals in rural communities.

“We are excited to welcome our second cohort of rural pre-med interns,” said LaKeshia Whigham, coordinator for CCHS Rural Programs. “The Tuscaloosa Rural Pre-Medical Internship is already making an impact on our rural pipeline as three participants in the inaugural cohort have been accepted into the 28th class of the Rural Medical Scholars Program. TRPI aims to strengthen the rural pipeline and fulfill the missions of Rural Programs and CCHS as we look to improve the health of communities in rural Alabama.”

The three participants from the 2022 TRPI class that were accepted into the 2023-2024 class of Rural Medical Scholars are Maycie Edmondson, John Kuykendall and Ariana Oliver.

Students spend five weeks at CCHS and two weeks with a family medicine physician near their hometown. They complete the internship program July 1. To be eligible for the internship, students must have completed four semesters of undergraduate coursework, obtained an overall GPA of a B range or higher and scored at least a 22 on the ACT or 1200 on the SAT. Only rural Alabama residents are accepted.

The internship program is funded in part through a supplemental award provided by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Health Workforce.

The 2023 TRPI Class