The Appalachian Preceptorship is designed to expose medical students to rural primary care practiced in a manner sensitive to the culture. Students will participate in one week of didactic sessions on the ETSU campus and spend three weeks with a rural physician practicing in an Appalachian community. Students will benefit from the cross-cultural experience, whether they choose to practice in Appalachia, urban areas or other communities throughout the nation. This elective is approved for credit as a required ambulatory or family medicine rotation, or as a senior elective.
Students will spend three weeks with a physician practicing in a rural Appalachian community. The preceptors are dedicated to excellence in patient care and community relationships, and they serve as role models for students. The nature of the clinical and community involvement will vary based on the student's level of training and interest, as well as the individual characteristics of the practice.
The week of didactic sessions is comprised of concentrated lectures on such subjects as Appalachian history and economics, rural health issues, alternative health systems and, interviewing from a cultural and personal perspective, using the patient centered method. All lectures hold special significance for rural family practitioners, especially in the Appalachian region. Several area rural physicians participate in panel discussions in which they share information about their community involvement and describe what it is like to practice in a rural community. In addition, field trips may be scheduled to look at a variety of models of health care delivery in the area, local economics, and culturally sanctioned health care alternatives. A variety of recreational activities are planned each year, depending on the interests of each group. Past activities have included white water rafting, hiking, backpacking, boating and fishing, volleyball, and trips to local attractions.
Forrest Lang, M.D.
The preceptorship is offered during the summer and is four weeks in duration. The didactic portion will be offered once during July, usually beginning with the Friday after the Fourth of July and concluding the following Friday. It is common for students from different schools to have different beginning and ending dates for the overall preceptorship.
All applications must be received by March 15 of the year the student wishes to participate. Please complete the application on-line or call us at 1-800-833-1186 for more information. Those accepted into the program will be notified by the middle of April.