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Program helps students examine medical careers
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- For the ninth year in a row, Mississippi State University and the state’s community colleges are teaming up to encourage bright high school seniors to consider a medical profession in Mississippi.
The intense, five-week Rural Medical Scholars summer program at MSU aims to identify the state’s future primary care doctors and help them become members of the medical class of 2015.
“Mississippi has the second to lowest number of physicians per capita in the nation,” said Bonnie Carew, rural health policy coordinator for MSU’s Extension Service. “Clearly, this limits access to care for the state’s citizens and contributes to many of the negative health status indicators plaguing the state. “
Carew said a goal of the program is to develop a pipeline of future medical providers.
“As the state’s population continues to grow, the concern for adequate health care increases as well,” she said. “To date, 168 students have participated in the RMS program, with most planning health-related careers. The program is clearly meeting the need it was designed to accomplish—assuring the availability of primary care physicians throughout rural Mississippi.”
The program is sponsored by the Mississippi Rural Health Corps, a joint effort of MSU’s Extension Service and the state’s 15 community and junior colleges. Thirty students with an ACT composite score of at least 25 will take two pre-med courses for credit on the Starkville campus -- zoology and college algebra -- and observe doctors at practice from July 2 until Aug. 4.
The selected scholars will receive tuition, housing and meals during the program. A $40 registration fee is required after acceptance. Each of the state’s community and junior colleges will select and sponsor candidates from their districts.
Applications should be submitted by April 21. Late applications will be accepted as space allows until May 12. Contact a high school guidance counselor or the nearest community college for more information or an application. Applications and program details also are available online at http://www.RMS.msucares.com.