The Huntsville Rural Pre-medical Internship is designed to provide in-depth experiences for students interested in attending medical school to become Family Physicians in rural areas of our state. The various activities add up to a fantastic summer of learning, understanding and fun. The program is sponsored by the Alabama Family Practice Rural Health Board.
After initial orientation sessions to familiarize themselves with the Huntsville Campus and the basics of doing histories and physicals, students begin shadowing in different medical settings. The in-patient shadowing is done at Huntsville Hospital - one of the premier hospitals in Alabama. Family Medicine, Pediatric and Internal Medicine out-patient clinics of the UAB Huntsville Regional campus provide opportunities to interact with the medical staff, students and residents. Interns also rotate through Physical Therapy, Medical Records, Business Office and Extended Care facilities.
An important aspect of the internship is the daily lunch lecture series which cover a wide range of issues including Multiple Roles of the Family Physician, Organized Medicine, Best Business Practices for Physicians, How Family Physicians are Trained and Dean’s Conferences. These lectures all function to broaden the student’s conception of the field of medicine.
Calhoun Community CollegeA favorite experience is the 2 days of hands-on learning at the Health Sciences Department of Calhoun
Community College where students are taught patient interviewing, basic physical exam, suturing,
starting IVs, intubation and various injection techniques. Students receive their certification in Basic Life Support after completing the training.
Field TripsDuring the internship students have the opportunity to go on several field trips throughout North Alabama. Among these are:
- Red Bay: Guided tour of the Tiffin Motor Homes Plant, which produces recreational vehicles, allows students an inside view of occupational and industrial medicine in a rural town. Red Bay Hospital hosts lunch with informative talks by the administration, hospital staff and helicopter evacuation services plus a tour of the hospital facilities.
- Russellville: While touring the Pilgrim's Pride chicken processing plant, students are able to observe the working conditions and potential accident risks at this major employment center.
- Scottsboro: Located in a rural setting, Highlands Medical Center offers a wide array of services including Rehabilitation, Endoscopy, Obstetrics, General Surgery and Occupational Medicine. An in-depth tour of the various hospital departments shows how Family Physicians use all of these services to provide exemplary health care in a rural area.
Rural ClinicsA unique aspect of the internship is the three-week period of shadowing a physician near the intern’s hometown. This allows the intern to observe not only the practice, but also the lifestyle of a rural physician. Often long-lasting relationships develop with the local physicians.
Poster PresentationStudents are divided into groups to prepare Power Point and poster displays on a general health or wellness topic. These are presented to an audience of local healthcare professionals on the final day of the program.
Have an incredible experience as you learn what it means to be a physician living and serving in rural Alabama.