Rural Health Scholars


To identify and nurture the interest of medical and nursing students who would like to pursue a career in rural health.

To help participating students acquire the skills and develop the attitudes necessary to become effective clinicians for rural and small town communities.

To expose students to the important linkages between clinical practice and public health in developing healthy rural communities.

To foster relationships among student Scholars and introduce them to others in the medical, public health, and governmental sectors who are working to meet the needs of rural communities.

Rural Health Scholar Experiences

Preclinical Years (medical school)

  • Longitudinal Preceptorship Program (LLP)*
  • Community health clerkship*
  • Monthly luncheon seminars
  • Summer service-learning or research experiences

Clinical Years (medical school)

  • Family Medicine Clerkship* in rural/small towns
  • Electives
  • Senior Scholars Projects


Financial support enables Scholars to attend the annual fall New England Rural Health Conference. Attendance at other conferences is based on applicability and appropriateness.  Click here  for one student's experience attending a Rural Health Association meeting.

*All medical students participate in these educational experiences; Rural Health Scholars have preference in rural sites.

Supported in part by the Mass AHEC Network.


"I've known for a long time that I wanted to be a doctor. What kind? The old-fashioned country doc, with the beat up black bag full of instruments, making house calls, delivering babies, stitching wounds, treating colds; the doc who knows all her patients' names without looking at the charts, because they are her friends neighbors."

-Melissa, UMMS '09

 Population 4,500

For additional information, please contact:

Joseph Stenger, MD
(508) 882-5572

Suzanne Cashman, ScD
(508) 856-2930

Janet Fraser Hale, PhD, RN, CS, FNP