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The Rural Medical Scholars Program was founded in 1996 to address the shortage of primary care physicians in Alabama’s rural communities. The program 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.

Since its founding, approximately 200 students have participated in the Rural Medical Scholars Program, and 126 have completed medical school and residency. Of those, the vast majority practice in Alabama, in mostly rural areas, and 65 percent are primary care physicians.


Year 1
Students complete prematriculation courses at The University of Alabama related to rural health and the practice of primary care in rural areas, and participate in special seminars, field trips and community service programs. This leads to a master’s degree in Rural Community Health. 

Years 2 & 3
Students complete their pre-clinical coursework at the Heersink School of Medicine campus in Birmingham.

Years 4 & 5
Students complete their clinical rotations at Tuscaloosa Regional Medical Campus with special courses and rotations in rural medicine.    

Learn more about the Rural Medical Scholars Program

Application Process

See the full application requirements.  

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