MAHEC Medical Mentoring Program

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The MAHEC Medical Mentoring Program (MMMP)—formerly known as the Minority Medical Mentoring Program—began in the fall of 2005 as an internship for underrepresented, marginalized, high school students who had an interest in the practice of medicine.

The program started as a collaboration between MAHEC, Mission Health, the Western Carolina Medical Society (then Buncombe County Medical Society), and other key community members. It was replicated from a similar program in Florida for African-American students. Our Asheville program initially targeted African-American students, then was expanded to include Hispanic/Latino students in 2009, and is now an inclusive program for all underrepresented students.

Now known by a new name, we will continue our commitment to students in Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools.

Program Overview

Students who participate in this program are exposed to a variety of healthcare fields including:

  • Chinese Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Public Health
  • Social Work
  • Medicine and related subspecialties such as
    • Anesthesiology
    • Cardiology
    • Dermatology
    • Ear, Head, Nose, and Throat
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Family Medicine
    • Genetics
    • Geriatrics
    • Internal Medicine
    • Integrative Medicine
    • Radiology
    • Sports Medicine
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Oncology
    • Palliative Care
    • Pediatrics
    • Trauma Surgery

Students will rotate through various clinics (such as memory care, sleep lab, diabetes management), hospitals, indigent care clinics, private practices, education centers, and more. Participants also attend resident physician didactics and are connected with MAHEC’s Virtual Library and Knowledge Services.

In addition to scheduled rotations, students may use internship hours to participate in ABIPA Action Teams, MAHEC health career programs for academic enrichment, college planning, conferences, and service-learning opportunities. Student participants should enroll in his/her school’s internship program for the last period of the day and choose the last available lunch. This will enable the student to have a rotation schedule from 2:30–4:30 pm.

Students enrolled in the internship program are covered under their school’s liability coverage. Verification of the school’s liability coverage must be provided to MAHEC by the school designee prior to the start of the program.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Underrepresented Minority
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • Asian Underrepresented (Bangladeshi, Cambodian, Hmong, Indonesian, Laotian, Malaysian, Nepalese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Vietnamese)
  • Black or African American
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • Rising high school senior enrolled in a high school located in Buncombe County
  • Strong desire to pursue a career as a high-level health professional
  • Minimum weighted grade point average of 3.0
  • Excellent teacher recommendations
  • Active record of leadership, work, and/or community service
  • Access to reliable transportation


Leslie Council Leslie Council
Director, Health Careers and Diversity Education
phone (828) 257-4479
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