School of Medicine

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The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine (UNC SOM) and the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), through generous funding by the Sarah Graham Kenan Foundation, have collaborated to create this dynamic longitudinal program for students interested in rural medicine.

The purpose of this program is to ultimately increase the number of UNC SOM students seeking rural health careers in North Carolina and to provide financial support and enrichment experiences to sustain their decisions. The rural scholars program provides participants the opportunity to commit to the Asheville campus longitudinal program and a mentoring experience with a rural preceptor over the course of three years during their medical education. Applicants must indicate their interest during their first year of medical school at UNC Chapel Hill.

Travis Williams is a medical student on a mission to bring excellent care to underserved corners of North Carolina.

Read his story

By high school, Wesley Roten knew he wanted to be a rural physician. Now in medical school, participating in UNC's rural scholars program is helping him realize his goal.

Read his story

Program Components

  • Six-week summer internship in Western North Carolina, working in a rural family practice with a preceptor and living in the community (summer stipend and housing assistance provided).
  • Weekly didactics in Asheville during the six-week summer internship on specific rural medicine topics.
  • A small project component during the summer internship offers an opportunity to collaborate on community projects or research with the preceptor site and/or exposure to ongoing MAHEC faculty, resident, and administrative research or programs.
  • The rural medicine curriculum is presented to scholars accepted into the program via monthly group discussions in Chapel Hill during the second year of medical school.

Contact and Apply

For more information, please contact Benjamin Gilmer, Rural Scholars Director.

To apply online, please visit the UNC Rural Scholars page.

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