Rural Project Examples: Health workforce pipeline
Thomas Jefferson University's Physician Shortage Area Program
Added March 2023
- Need: More rural doctors were needed in Pennsylvania, where nearly half of the state's physicians practice in just three large metropolitan counties.
- Intervention: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University established the Physician Shortage Area Program (PSAP) in 1974 to recruit and support students who are from rural backgrounds and who wish to practice in rural communities.
- Results: Approximately 80% of PSAP alumni have remained in rural family medicine for at least 20 to 25 years after graduation.
Successfully Training and Educating Pre-medical Students (STEPS)
Updated/reviewed December 2022
- Need: To increase the number of primary care providers in northeast Kentucky.
- Intervention: STEPS provides support such as physician shadowing, mock interviews, and MCAT practice courses/exams for regional students applying to medical school.
- Results: More than 70% of participants have been accepted into medical school. The program has been replicated among most of Kentucky's regional AHECs.
Other Project Examples
Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) Rural Fellowship
Added August 2023
- Need: To increase recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural western North Carolina.
- Intervention: The Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) Rural Fellowship offers mentorship, education, research support, and community-building opportunities for local providers in their first year of practice.
- Results: Of the 30 fellows who have completed the program since 2017, 97% are still practicing in rural areas; 87% are still practicing in rural western North Carolina.
Updated/reviewed April 2023
- Need: An increased interest among young people to pursue a medical career in rural North Carolina
- Intervention: Two medical students started a program that gives high school seniors medical academic training, mentor relationships, and hands-on experience in rural North Carolina facilities.
- Results: Project PROMISE has graduated 36 high school students, 16 of whom are pursuing an undergraduate degree with an interest in studying medicine. Two students were recently accepted into medical school.
FORWARD NM Pathways to Health Careers
Updated/reviewed November 2022
- Need: New Mexico's southwestern counties of Hidalgo, Catron, Luna, and Grant have experienced chronic shortages of primary care providers. New Mexico has the oldest physician population in the country.
- Intervention: A comprehensive workforce pipeline program, including programming for middle and high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, primary care program students, and medical and dental residents.
- Results: The program reaches over 1,000 school-aged students throughout the service areas and provides support for students and medical residents in a variety of healthcare-related programs for rural rotation experiences. FORWARD NM received its designation as an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in 2012.
Frontier Area Rural Mental Health Camp and Mentorship Program (FARM CAMP)
Updated/reviewed September 2022
- Need: To reduce the shortage of behavioral health professionals in rural Nebraska.
- Intervention: A week-long camp teaches high school students in rural and tribal communities about different career options in behavioral health and provides mentorship after the camp ends.
- Results: In 2022, 10 high school students participated in the camp, and a former camper returned to present on their work in a psychology lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Rescue Divas EMT Recruitment
Updated/reviewed June 2022
- Need: Increased number of emergency medical technicians in rural northern Wisconsin.
- Intervention: Creation of a program, Rescue Divas, for middle school girls to spark interest in emergency medical services careers.
- Results: Post-participation results demonstrate the camp increases interest in an emergency medical services career.
Updated/reviewed August 2020
- Need: Rural Wisconsin communities experience threatened healthcare infrastructure due to workforce shortages.
- Intervention: The Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, in partnership with the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health, created a youth program to increase awareness of health-related professions known as Club Scrub.
- Results: Middle-school students attend the program and gain a better understanding of career options in the healthcare industry.
For examples from other sources, see: