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MSU is taking applications for Rural Medical Scholars

MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi high school juniors considering medical careers in their home state have the opportunity to take part in an intense summer program at Mississippi State University.

The 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 school class of 2021.

“Mississippi continues to have the lowest number of physicians per capita in the nation,” said Bonnie Carew, rural health program leader for MSU’s Extension Service. “Clearly, this limits the state’s residents to access for care and contributes to many of the negative health issues plaguing the state.”

Carew said the concern for adequate health care increases with a declining number of rural physicians. A goal of the program is to develop a pipeline of future medical providers.

“The program is clearly meeting the need it was designed to accomplish -- increasing the availability of primary care physicians and health care services throughout rural Mississippi,” she said. “To date, 256 students have participated in the RMS program, with most planning health-related careers. Twenty-four of our graduates went on to medical school and 17 of those are practicing physicians today.”

The program is supported with funds from MSU, the Office of Rural Health at the Mississippi State Department of Health, and the Mississippi Area Health Education Center. Twenty students, between their junior and senior years, with an ACT composite score of at least 25 will take two pre-med courses on the Starkville campus -- biology and pre-calculus -- and observe doctors at practice from May 30 until July 2.

The selected scholars will receive tuition, housing and textbooks during the program. A $60 registration fee is required after acceptance and the scholars will be responsible for their food expenses. Applications must be submitted by March 21. Applications and program details are available online at

Released: January 20, 2012
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