As a part of the School of Medicine’s commitment to addressing physician maldistribution in rural Missouri counties, faculty created the MU AHEC Rural Track Pipeline Program to solidify student interest in rural practice. Within the Rural Track Pipeline Program is the Summer Community Program, an exciting opportunity for MU School of Medicine’s rising second-year medical students to participate in a clinical program in a community setting.
During this four- to six-week program, students directly experience the benefits and rewards of rural practice. Students work with an approved community-based preceptor and are sponsored by a participating rural hospital.
The goals of the program are to:
- 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
The local hospitals supply a stipend per student, as well as room and board if possible, unless the student chooses to stay with a family member living in the community. Students completing a four-week experience receive a $1,000 stipend. For a six-week experience, they receive a $1,500 stipend.
Application and Selection Process
The application process is explained and information is distributed during the first year of medical school. The program is open to all rising second-year medical students in good academic standing. Selection for the Summer Community Program is based primarily on interest in rural practice.
Download, complete, print and submit the application to Christy Old in the Office of Medical Education. Students are required to submit only one cover sheet no matter how many summer programs and fellowships they apply to. This program also requires a curriculum vitae.
Active participation is required for student success while in the community setting. Students are expected to identify learning issues based on their clinical encounters and to address these learning issues during the course of the experience. At a minimum, students perform appropriately focused history and physical exams under the supervision of the preceptor. At all times, MU medical students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with professional standards and norms.
Evaluation and Grading
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, as well as a letter of recognition. Letters of recognition are kept in the students’ permanent file in the Office of Medical Education. Students are covered under the University of Missouri’s malpractice plan.
Missouri hospitals and clinics are invited to host Summer Community Program students. If you are interested in becoming a sponsoring institution, please see invite letter and applicable forms below.