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Rural Programs

Quillen College of Medicine

Pre-Medical Rural Community Health Project

Rural Community Health Projects

The goal is to foster support and encouragement for rural health careers among promising students in the state of Tennessee, or surrounding states who are preparing to enter primary care medicine.

This program provides the opportunity for four-five premedical students and one other health profession student to work in a rural community under a health care provider for a period of six-eight weeks. Students work on a project, chosen by the health care provider, that addresses an identified community health problem. Students may handle assignments such as collecting data, interviewing, preparing health education materials, or working in health promotion. In addition to the non-clinical project activities, the student will have some contact with a primary care physician to shadow and observe. Contacts with other primary care health professional are also encouraged.

Housing in the Community
A stipend is provided to facilitate housing the student with in the local community. It is an important goal of the project for students to spend time in the community beyond the work day to learn more about the social, economic, and other issues that affect health in that community. Each project assists the student in finding affordable local housing. An additional mileage reimbursement may be available for students who will have project related travel.

Criteria for Students
Applicants must:

  • Be enrolled as rising junior or senior in a college or university
  • Be a resident of Tennessee or from a surrounding state.
  • Have maintained a grade point average of at least 3.2 cumulative.
  • Provide a letter of recommendation form from their premedical advisor.
  • Submit an application AND a personal statement

Site Selection

Students will be offered an opportunity to indicate a preference for participating in one of the projects. The final determination of site-student will be under the direction of Joe Florence, M.D., Director of Rural Programs, Department of Family Medicine, East Tennessee State University.


Students selected will be required, as a group, to meet with the Rural Programs Coordinator prior to starting the summer Premed Projects. In addition to a brief written evaluation by the preceptor and students, the project director will complete an exit interview with each student on the ETSU main campus in August. The students will at this time, also present an oral presentation of their summers project to their preceptors and the Rural Programs Coordinator and Director.

Project Application

You can 'submit' the online application or print and mail to: Carolyn Sliger, MSEH, Department of Family Medicine, Box 70621, ETSU Johnson City, TN 37614 or FAX to: (423) 439-2440.

View Presentations of our Pre-Medical Rural Community Health Projects.

Click here to learn more about the Pre-Medical Rural Community Health Project.

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