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)*
- Population Health Clerkship*
- Monthly luncheon seminars
- Summer service-learning or research experiences
Clinical Years (medical school)
- Family Medicine Clerkship* in rural/small towns
- 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.
Reasons to Become a Rural Health Scholar
- You just need to be interested in rural medicine—no commitment to plan to pursue rural medicine
- Our 2 directors are rock stars—Suzanne and Steve are committed to advocating on our behalf
- We have hands-on skills sessions starting in first year—such as x-ray reading, casting, suturing, etc.
- Monthly speaker series that is flexible and open to your input
- We get top priority for population health clerkship rural sites
- We get top priority for rural sites for 3rd and 4th year rotations—like the Berkshires
- Get to meet other awesome and down-to-earth medical and nursing students from different years—we had a yummy potluck last year
- Faculty assistance setting up first year summer opportunities
- Low time commitment — get as involved as you would like!
- Oodles of fun!
-Kathryn, UMMS '16
"The whole program was influential. I started in the acute care track. I was interested in hospital based practice. RHS opened my options and possibilities, and expanded my imagination for what is possible so I switched over to the family NP track. I hope to work in a community health center with an underserved population."
– Toy Lim, RN, FNP, GSN Class of 2012
"RHS provided me the opportunity to immerse myself in the strengths, challenges and workings of a rural healthcare system. RHS also provides one of the few venues for nursing and medical students to learn, grow and develop working relationships as healthcare providers."
-Eric Van Bean, GSN 2011
"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
Hannah Melnitsky: Massachusetts Medical Society Scholars
Graduating fourth-year student Hannah Melnitsky was named one of two UMMS 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society Scholars for “excellent academic performance, community involvement, and financial need.” MMS annually names two students from each of the state’s four medical schools, awarding each honoree a $10,000 scholarship. Hannah joined Rural Health Scholars as an incoming medical student in 2006.
For additional information, please contact:
Stephen Martin, MD
Suzanne Cashman, ScD
Janet Fraser Hale, PhD, RN, CS, FNP