Welcome to the Office of Family Health, Education & Research


Home of Rural Medicine

It’s no secret that Alabama is a rural state. In fact, only four metropolitan areas can be said to be totally urban.  One of the greatest challenges of our state is how to meet the pressing medical needs in rural areas.  And one of the greatest secrets in our state is that practicing rural medicine provides physicians unique rewards both personally and professionally.

So, what is it about being a rural family physician? To begin with, he/she uses a solid medical education and continues to build on it to appropriately and creatively care for patients. But just as important is how the rural physician is a trusted leader who makes a meaningful difference in the community.

If you’re interested in meeting the medical needs of entire families from birth to death; in being a welcomed and respected member of your community; and in establishing a real home-town fit for you and your family, you owe it to yourself to contact us to explore this unique field of medicine.

Rural Medicine News

"My Path To Medical School" make the news!

Rural Medicine Program students are tasked with returning to their high school alma maters to encourage students to consider careers as physicians. Justin Evans, MS-2, spoke at Pell City High School and the newspaper shared his message.

Pell City graduate Evans encourages students to explore, dream, discover

J. Evans in Pell City

Justin Evans spoke to Pell City High School students Friday about pursuing their passion.

Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2015 12:00 am | Updated: 11:14 am, Mon Jan 12, 2015.

By DAVID ATCHISON Home staff writer

PELL CITY – Former student Justin Evans returned to his high school Friday, delivering a message to the students – explore, dream and discover.

“I want to encourage ya’ll to go into medical school,” said the 24-year-old man, who is attending the University of Alabama in Birmingham School of Medicine. “There’s a shortage of doctors. We need more doctors.”

Evans said the medical field, especially a career as a doctor, provides people a job that is in high demand, providing the freedom to live anywhere. He said doctors provide a career opportunity for people to teach, help others and give back to the community.

Evans said he is attending medical school through the Rural Medical Program. The qualification is that the medical student grew up in a rural area and is willing to use their skill as a doctor in a rural area once they graduate.

He told students they would qualify for the program because they are from a rural area.

Evans said he understands why students would question whether they are smart enough to attend medical school.

“Everyone in this room could do it,” said the 2008 Pell City High School graduate. “I promise, if I can do it, you can do it.”

Evans told students it was a matter of believing in yourself and doing your best.

“Make good grades,” he said. “Try to do your best. If you don’t, all you are hurting is yourself.”

He said if a student is interested in becoming a doctor, they should shadow a doctor for a few hours to see what the job is like.

“I can’t stress the importance of this,” Evans said. “Medical schools want to see if you know what you’re getting into.”

He said it is also important for students to get involved with outside activities and actually get a part-time job, so they learn the value of hard work.

“A job teaches you work ethics,” Evans said.

Evans completed missionary work during one summer, and he encouraged students to travel and study abroad.

He told students that college is like a fresh start.

“You need to pick a college that is best for you,” Evans said, adding that students do not need to worry about getting out of their comfort zone. “If you want to be a journalist, you need to go to a school that has a journalism program. I can’t stress it enough -- choose a college that’s best for you.”

Evans graduated from Auburn University, where he majored in biomedical sciences before he was accepted to UAB School of Medicine. He is completing his second year of medical school.