Friday, Jan. 5, 2024
Registration opens Nov. 24, 2023
Applications accepted Oct. 25 – Nov. 30, 2023.
Applications being accepted for Spring 2024.
The Rural Health Initiative Program was designed to enhance the rural/underserved primary care curriculum at WVSOM in order to produce graduates qualified to practice medicine in rural/undeserved communities.
Students who are accepted into the program participate in unique experiences that provide opportunities to learn about local industries and the daily lives of West Virginia residents.
Students gain insight into how those factors affect the health and treatment of patients. Initiatives includes exposure to the coal, timber, agricultural plus the oil & gas industries, along with related safety issues.
Rural/underserved rotations are performed by WVSOM students, more than any other medical school in West Virginia and one of the top in the nation.
RHI students received sign-on incentives for accepting primary care residency programs in West Virginia.
High School and undergraduate students are introduced to rural medicine opportunities through RHI pipeline activities.
Industry-specific activities are conducted for RHI WVSOM students to learn about environmental exposure that could cause injuries or diseases to West Virginia patients.
While all medical students at WVSOM complete a minimum of three rural/underserved rotations in West Virginia during their clinical years, participation in the Rural Health Initiative takes rural/underserved clinical exposure to a new level of engagement.
Student doctors selected for the Rural Health Initiative program will be placed in specially selected primary care experiences with rural/underserved West Virginia physicians and residents who serve as mentors. These physicians assist the student doctor through clinical rotations and residency.
RHI participants will receive a scholarship while performing rural/underserved rotations and have access to financial counseling and loan forgiveness education to ensure they are maximizing funds available for service.
RHI financially supports travel expenses and provides housing for primary care rotations within West Virginia during an RHI student’s fourth year of medical school.
WVSOM RHI sponsors this annual event where students are exposed to a panel of successful rural speakers, have the opportunity to visit rural hospital and clinic representatives and attend workshops including financial incentives.
WVSOM students have the opportunity to learn wilderness medicine through a four-week elective rotation. In the summer of 2013, this rotation was the only wilderness medicine rotation in the country offered by an osteopathic school.