High school students spend summer in five-week Rural program

July 31, 2023

Twenty-six Alabama students participated in this summer’s Rural Health Scholars and Minority Rural Health Scholars programs. Sixteen were Rural Health Scholars and 10 were Minority Rural Health Scholars.

The programs are part of the Rural Health Leaders Pipeline at the College of Community Health Sciences created to address the shortage of primary care physicians in Alabama’s rural communities.

The Rural Health Scholars program is exclusively for current high school juniors from rural Alabama communities and provides students with opportunities to pursue careers in health care professions while experiencing college firsthand. The Minority Rural Health Scholars program is exclusively for rural Alabama high school students currently in 12th grade who plan to enter college in the next academic year.

Students spend five weeks in the summer at The University of Alabama taking college courses for credit, attending tutorials and seminars, shadowing physicians and other health-care professionals and participating in field trips to rural medical facilities.

The other programs included in the Rural Health Leaders Pipeline are the Rural and Community Health master’s degree program, the Rural Medical Scholars Program and the Tuscaloosa Rural Pre-Medical Internship.

The Rural Community Health master’s degree program prepares college students to be community health leaders in rural Alabama as health care providers on the basis of community health leadership, characteristics of rural health concerns and approaches to biomedical science study through biochemistry and other science courses.

The Rural Medical Scholars Program recruits rural Alabama college students who want to become physicians and practice in the state’s rural communities. The program includes a year of study, after students receive their undergraduate degree, that leads to a master’s degree in Rural Community Health and early admission to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine.

The Tuscaloosa Rural Pre-Medical Internship is a seven-week summer program for rural pre-medical undergraduate students interested in rural primary care. The program aims to provide students insight into the primary care needs of rural Alabama, particularly in the fields of family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics by providing a variety of learning activities, discussions and shadowing opportunities.

Visit the CCHS website to learn about these programs.

Dr. Tiffany Watson
Dr. Tiffany Watson