Rural Scholars Program FAQs

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What is the Rural Scholars Program?
The Rural Scholars Program offers medical school applicants, with a desire and commitment to provide medical services for rural and underserved populations, the focused education that will prepare them for life and practice in a rural community.

How do I apply to participate in the Rural Scholars Program?
Application for the Rural Medical Education Program will begin towards the end of the first semester and an interview process will help identify students who are a good fit for the Rural Medical Education program.

How much time do I spend off-campus for Rural Scholars curricular activities?
During Years 1 and 2, you may complete a brief visit of 4 days at your assigned Rural Family Medicine continuity site, and one-day visits to rural hospital emergency departments, or other relevant rural health settings.  During Years 3 and 4, clerkship rotations are completed in a variety of rural venues, as well as urban tertiary clinical settings.  You can anticipate spending all of Year 3 away from the Fort Worth area, doing rural or international rotations.  Year 4 rotations for Geriatrics and ER are done at rural sites as well as electives.

What is the Texas Rural Health Association Student Chapter?
The Texas Rural Health Association Student Chapter is a student organization for all Health Science Center students who have an interest in rural health. The goal of this organization is the exchange of ideas and information regarding the intricacies of rural health. An important objective is to provide additional learning opportunities for student members and active involvement in rural community programs. Rural Scholars Program participants are strongly encouraged/expected to join this organization

What is a preceptorship?  What is a clerkship?
A preceptorship is an apprenticeship with a faculty member, who is called a “preceptor.” A preceptorship can range from observation to active participation in healthcare. Preceptorships are normally a broad-based exposure to a particular area of medicine. In the Rural Scholars Program, there are preceptorships in Years 1 and 2. These are completed at teaching sites (Family Medicine Continuity site), under the auspices of our rural Family Medicine faculty member.

A clerkship is a focused training rotation in a medical specialty area that is scheduled during Years 3 and 4. These rotations may be scheduled in a variety of clinical settings – ambulatory-based or hospital-based and have specific academic and testing requirements. For example: The TCOM Year 3 curriculum includes rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, Ob/Gyn, surgery, psychiatry, and osteopathic manipulative medicine. Rural Scholars complete these rotations at available rural-based locations.

If I were accepted to participate in the Rural Scholars Program, am I required to select family medicine as my practice specialty?
No, not at all. The intent of this curriculum is to provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to any medical student who aspires to serve a rural, or underserved population, regardless of which specialty the student is interested in.

The vision of an initiative, such as the Rural Osteopathic Medical Education of Texas (ROME), is to address the need for physicians in rural and underserved areas of Texas. Primary care specialties, such as family medicine, Ob/Gyn, pediatrics, general internal medicine, and general surgery are critical areas of need. Obviously, these are areas we hope students will eventually consider.


This page was last modified on February 11, 2019