University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine

Summer Fellowships - AHEC Program

Download, complete, print and submit the application to Kristen Bailey in the Office of Medical Education MA213. Students are required to submit only one cover sheet no matter how many fellowship programs they apply to. The deadline is Friday, January 30, 2015.

As a part of the School of Medicine's commitment to addressing physician maldistribution in rural Missouri counties, faculty created three longitudinal programs to solidify student interest in rural practice.

One of these programs is the MU-AHEC Summer Community Program. This program, coordinated by the MU-AHEC program office, is a four to eight-week experience where students apply and are selected between their first and second years of medical school. This program combines a preceptorial experience with rural living. Students are taught in a rural practice by an approved rural practitioner and sponsored by a rural local hospital. The local hospitals supply a stipend per student, as well as room and board where possible. Students completing a four-week experience receive a $1,000 stipend; for a six-week experience receive a $1,500 stipend; for an eight-week experience, students receive a $2,000 stipend. Local coordination and some housing is provided by the Missouri AHEC centers.


Mary Swope
Phone: (573) 884-7370

Goals and Objectives

The overall goal of the MU-AHEC Summer Community Program is to increase the number of physicians in rural Missouri. The program accomplishes this goal by recruiting the appropriate students, providing appropriate role models, and training students in rural settings.

The Summer Community Program contributes to the overall goal by providing an opportunity to live and learn in a rural community.

The goals of the Summer Community Program include:

  • Increase knowledge of rural practice by working with an experienced preceptor.
  • Learn about the different specialties commonly available in rural communities.
  • Improve clinical skills in history-taking, physical examination, assessment and medical management.
  • Explore common acute and chronic clinical problems.
  • Compare medical practice in a community setting to practice in an academic health center.

MU-AHEC Summer Community Program Sites

 Click here to download a list of sites available in 2015.

Application Process

In January, students will receive information about the program. Students complete a brief application form on which they are asked to express their reasons for wanting to participate in the program and to select three locations of preference. In addition, students are required to attach a current curricula vitae to the application form.

Students must be in good academic standing. Students with an expressed interest in rural practice are given preference, as are those with a likelihood of returning to the sponsoring hospitals' area.

Student Responsibilities

Consistent with the program goals, the student's responsibilities include participation in the medical practice of the preceptor(s). Students are expected to identify learning issues based on their clinical encounters and to address these learning issues during the course of 4-8 weeks. Students are expected to participate in clinical activities as determined by the preceptor. Other experiences, such as simple procedures, may be pursued under the direct supervision of the preceptor.

At all times, MU medical students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with professional standards and norms. Students are also expected to attend all meetings and participate in all activities determined by the preceptor to contribute to medical education.

Preceptor Responsibilities

The preceptors work with students in their office and hospital practice. Sometimes students assume an observatory role, but they should be given progressive responsibilities for patient care as determined by the preceptor. The preceptors are role models for the students. They are encouraged to talk with the students about their role in the community, their hobbies, and their interests outside of work.

Evaluation and Feedback

During the experience, preceptors provide students with frequent feedback incorporating personal observations and comments from patients, office staff, and hospital personnel. A brief evaluation is completed by the preceptor when the student finishes the experience.

Students who complete the program receive written comments from the preceptors, which are maintained in the students' permanent file in the Office of Medical Education. Students are covered under the University of Missouri's malpractice plan.


"I learned so much from the doctor, nurses, and receptionists about how a rural clinic operates. The physician I worked with was eager to explain and teach me new things. I learned so much more by actually getting to do all of these things rather than just observing while the physician does them. I had a wonderful experience!"

"My preceptor was extremely knowledgeable not only on all matters of patient care, but also regarding the practical business aspects of practicing medicine today. He was willing to share a lifetime of experience with someone like me who is just starting out. He was very generous with his time. I was fortunate to develop a personal as well as a professional relationship with my preceptor."

"My preceptor was wonderful! I could ask him anything and not feel stupid. He was so caring and his patients thought the world of him - so did I. He represented the kind of compassion and warmth that I really want in my own practice."

"All our preceptors and the staff welcomed us with open arms and as a result I felt like I was (and had been for a long time) a part of that community. It felt like home. THANKS, I HAD A GREAT TIME."

"I don't know what specialty I will go into, but I definitely want to go back to that area and practice medicine."

"I will be comparing doctor/patient relationships to those that I saw as the gold standard. All of my preceptors had wonderful interaction and know patients extensively from outside the office. Secondly, I believe that I have expanded my horizons involving where I wish to practice medicine. Whereas before I was unclear about whether I would enjoy a small town community, I now believe that I could be quite happy and professionally fulfilled."

"Being in such close contact with a doctor for an extended period of time really gave me an idea about what a small town Doc does outside of the office as well, i.e. hospice meetings, nursing home visits, school board meetings, etc."

"I had intentions of practicing in a rural area. This experience has made me even more sure that it is what I want to do...I truly enjoyed the family practice, and now I'm leaning more in that direction."

"All my preceptors were wonderful and VERY willing to teach. I felt completely comfortable here and still challenged at the same time. The doctors went out of their way to give me educational, interesting and diverse experiences."

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