September 11, 2018Ten University of Alabama students studying to become physicians and planning to practice in rural Alabama attended an orientation session August 21 hosted by the College of Community Health Sciences. The students are participating in the College’s Rural Medical Scholars Program, a five-year medical education program that leads to early admission to the University of Alabama School of Medicine and a medical degree. The orientation at Moundville Archeological Park in Moundville, Alabama, included an overview of program expectations and faculty and staff introductions. Students also had a chance to meet more College faculty at a meet-and-greet later in the day. The Rural Medical Scholars Program is for rural Alabama students who want to become physicians and practice in rural communities. The program includes a year of study, after students receive their undergraduate degree, and leads to a master’s degree in Rural Community Health and early admission to the University of Alabama School of Medicine. The Rural Medical Scholars Program is part of the College’s efforts to address the shortage of primary care physicians in Alabama, particularly in rural areas. Also attending the orientation were seven students who are Rural Community Health Scholars, graduate students not enrolled in the Rural Medical Scholars Program but who are interested in health-care careers. The Rural Community Health Scholars Program prepares students for leadership roles in community health in rural areas. Graduates of the program have entered the fields of public health, health administration, nursing and physical therapy.