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Rural Health Scholars Program (RHS)

Rural Health Scholars Program (RHS)

Rural Health Scholars is a 4-week program AHEC hosts each summer for undergraduate students in any of the pre-professional tracks (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, etc.). RHS immerses pre-professional students (Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Physical Therapy, etc.) in rural Kentucky medicine by utilizing unique experiences to broaden their understanding of the limitations, advantages, and community resources available to educate, prevent and treat a rural patient population.


 RHS Program Dates: June 3 - June 28, 2024



Rural Health Scholars is limited to seven students who will be selected based on an application and personal statement. Preference will be given to students from rural and medically underserved counties. Personal transportation is required for all participants. The program meets Monday-Fridays. Students have weekends and most evenings off.  There is no typical day during RHS. Some days will be early mornings, some days will be late afternoons. Students are still be expected to participate in all activies and are responsible for transportation. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a stipend.


To apply:

  • Complete the online application.
  • Email your personal statement (750 words max) in a Word document to emily.pride@wku.edu & cameron.carr-calvert@wku.edu that addresses your interest in your respective field, why you want to participate in RHS, and what experience you have in the health field. 
  • Applicants attending a college or university other than WKU must also email your unofficial transcript with your personal statement.
  • Application Deadline: March 15


  • Preference given to students from rural and medical underserved regions of Kentucky. 
  • Reliable transportation - this program includes many different site visits in Bowling Green and Glasgow
  • Pass a criminal background check (paid for by AHEC).
  • Must be available to participate in the entire program.


The 2023 Rural Health Scholars program focused on the following three themes. A detailed schedule outlining all workshops, trainings, and field trips is provided to participants before the start of the program.


Increasing Intercultural Competency

Learn more about the unique healthcare needs of:

  • Mennonite and Amish communities 
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness 
  • Refugees and Immigrants
  • Vulnerable populations



Rural Health Focus - Behavioral Health

Learn about behavioral health issues impacting rural areas. 

Meet with local organizations that are addressing the behavioral health needs of Kentuckians, including: 

  • Addiction treatment centers
  • Suicide prevention programs 
  • Behavioral health hospitals 
Preparing for Life After Undergrad
  • Become CPR BLS certified
  • Learn about the admissions process to your professional school (i.e. dental school, medical school, etc.) 
  • Talk with current medical, dental, pharmacy students
  • Practice mock interviews & personal statement reviews
  • Complete a service project


AHEC may be able to provide a limited number of on-campus housing scholarships for students in need of housing during the program. Housing is provided in the summer term residence hall (to be determined by HRL) for the duration of the program. (Living on campus is not required to participate in RHS.)

There is no typical day, but most activities take place from 8-5pm. 

You will be exposed to a variety of health professionals, but you will not be doing extensive shadowing. 

Students are required to attend all days. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis. 

Students are paid $1,500 to help off-set living expenses during the month. 

You can work as long as your total hours between the two programs don't exceed 40 hrs/week and your other job is not during RHS program hours. 


Please contact Cameron Carr-Calvert or Emily Ann Pride Sutton if you have questions.



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 Last Modified 2/19/24