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The Huntsville Rural Pre-medical Internship provides 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.

Huntsville Clinics

After initial orientation sessions to familiarize themselves with the Huntsville Campus and the basics of conducting physical exams and taking patient histories, students begin shadowing in different medical settings. The inpatient shadowing is done at Huntsville Hospital, one of Alabama’s premier hospitals. The UAB Huntsville Regional Medical Campus’ Family Medicine, Pediatric and Internal Medicine outpatient clinics 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 to broaden the students’ understanding of medicine.

Calhoun Community College

A favorite experience is the 2 days of hands-on learning in the Health Sciences Department at Calhoun Community College, where students learn basics in patient interviewing, conducting physical exams, suturing, starting IVs, intubation and various injection techniques. Students receive their certification in Basic Life Support after completing the training.

Field Trips

During the internship students have the opportunity to go on several field trips throughout North Alabama, including:

  • 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 Clinics

A unique aspect of the internship is the three-week period of shadowing a physician near the students’ hometown. This allows them to observe not only the practice, but also the lifestyle of a rural physician. Often long-lasting relationships develop with the local physicians.

Poster Presentation  

Students are divided into groups to prepare Power Point and poster displays on a general health or wellness topic, and they present their presentations to an audience of local healthcare professionals on the last day of the internship.