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Rural Health Scholars Program (RHS)

Rural Health Scholars Program (RHS)


South Central AHEC offers a 4 week program each summer for WKU students in any of the pre-professional tracks (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, etc.).The program 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. 



Rural Health Scholars Video Preview



The 2021 Rural Health Scholars Program will be held from May 17 - June 11.


This program is limited to 5 students who will be selected based on an application and personal statement. Preference will be given to students from rural and medically under-served counties. Personal transportation is required for all participants. 


The program meets Monday- Fridays. Students have weekends off and most evenings. There is no typical day during RHS. Some days will be early mornings, some days will be late afternoons. 


Applications accepted on a rolling basis through April 10. 

Apply Today



Requirements for Participation:

  • 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
  • Email an unofficial copy of your transcripts from TopNet and personal statement to catherine.malin@wku.edu.
  • Pass a criminal background check paid for by AHEC
  • Must be available to participate in the entire program.


Examples of Program Activities: 

The Rural Health Scholars program will focus on three themes: 

1. Providing healthcare and resources to underrepresented populations in Kentucky including: 

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


2. Rural Health Focus - Opioid Use Disorder 

  • Learn about the opioid use disorder epidemic 
  • Meet with local organizations that are responding to the opioid epidemic such as: 
    • Harm reduction programs - Needle exchanges 
    • Methadone and Suboxone Clinics
    • Interventional Pain Specialists 
    • Drug Court 


3. 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
  • Mock Interviews and personal statement reviews
  • Volunteer at COVID vaccine clinics (subject to need) 
  • Complete a service project



To Apply:


COVID-19 Update:

Rural Health Scholars will be a hybrid program this year, with some days being fully virtual and some fully in-person! Students are still be expected to participate in all virtual and in-person activities. Students will still receive the stipend ($950).



  • Is housing provided?
    • No, housing is not provided. Students must provide their own housing. 
  • What is a typical day during RHS?
    • There is no typical day, but most activities take place from 8-5pm. 
  • Is this a shadowing program?
    • You will be exposed to a variety of health professionals, but you will not be doing extensive shadowing. 
  • I have a wedding/vacation/family event and can't make some of the days, can I still apply?
    • Students are required to attend all days. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Is there a stipend?  
    • Students are paid $950 to help off-set living expenses during the month. 
  • Can I work my on-campus job during RHS? 
    • You can work as long as your total hours between the two programs don't exceed 40/week and your other job is not during RHS program hours. 




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 Last Modified 4/5/21