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Project PROMISE (Providing Rural Opportunities in Medicine through Inspiring Service and Education) provides experiential learning opportunities for motivated rural high school students with a sincere interest in healthcare. PROMISE students can use the knowledge they acquire during internships, workshops, and summer camps to give back to their community. Program activities are designed to assist and inspire rural students to pursue health professions while nurturing in them a sense of pride and commitment to serving their rural communities.

Project PROMISE was started in the fall of 2014 by two medical students at UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine who planned to practice primary care in Western North Carolina. Originally supported by an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, Project PROMISE is one of several initiatives led by MAHEC's Rural Health Initiative team to fundamentally transform health and the quality of life in our rural counties.

"We can provide incentives to attract healthcare professionals to the area from other parts of the country, and such measures will help. But imagine a community that trains its own students and supports them in their path to a healthcare profession. Envision practitioners returning who were once students in these mountains and know the needs of the community best—this is Project PROMISE."

— Rivers Woodward, MD, Project PROMISE co-founder

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