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Educational programs across the state are working to recruit and support students interested in primary care and rural medicine even before they reach medical school.

New for the 2023-2034 academic year, the Blaze to MD Primary Care Pathway sets aside five seats specifically for students interested in primary care. Participants earn a Master of Science in Biomedical Health Sciences. Plus, provided they meet program requirements, these aspiring physicians will receive direct admission to the UAB Heersink School of Medicine.

The Rural Medicine Program, based at Auburn University, includes a year of prematriculation study at the post-baccalaureate level in the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University, followed by four years of medical school. RMP students complete their clinical training at the Heersink School of Medicine Huntsville Regional Medical Campus.

The Rural Medical Scholars Program at the University of Alabama works to recruit and assist rural Alabama college students who want to become physicians and practice in the state’s rural communities, where they are most needed. In Year 1 of the program, students earn a master’s degree in Rural Community Health.