HATTIESBURG MISS. - Monday, William Carey University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine hosted the annual Medical Encounters program for undergraduate students participating in the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program. The program attracted students from all over the state to come to William Carey to learn more about the medical field.
“Today, we are hosting the Mississippi Rural Scholarship Health Program,” Assistant Professor of Clinical & Biomedical Sciences at William Carey, Dr. Tanisha Hayes Denning said. “It’s a program to help grow physicians in Mississippi for Mississippi. So, we are giving them a little taste of clinical medicine at the osteopathic medical school.”
The university believes that by having this program, they can help increase the number of physicians in rural communities.
“Definitely, there is a shortage in general across the country, but specifically rural areas,” Denning explained. “So, the program out of UMMC [University of Mississippi Medicine Center] is focused on preparing primary care physicians.”
The program provides students with hands-on experience about some of the things these students might encounter in the field.
“It’s knowledge you'll use for the rest of your life… as a physician,” a participant in the program and University of Southern Mississippi student, Brandon Bergeron said.
The knowledge taught in this program is not just limited to the classroom, but the program also teaches students about life.
“We get to learn the ins and outs of that type of medical career, and these medical professions, and learn more about our lives as primary care physicians in the future,” a participant in the program and Ole Miss student, Alex Fratesi said.
A total of 24 students received the opportunity to learn from current and retired professionals in the medical community, which has Dr. Denning feeling good about the future of the medical community in Mississippi.
“Whenever you can provide information to prepare people for a career in medicine it kind of opens their eyes to things they didn't know previously. Especially here today, getting to see a little bit of what it is like to be a medical student in general,” Dr. Denning explained. “I think it excites the students, and I think we will increase the number of physicians in Mississippi.”
The students will participate in a similar program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.