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Rural Medical Scholars 2019

March 6, 2019

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Amy Myers: Today we're talking about rural medical scholars 2019. Hello, I'm Amy Myers. Welcome to Farm and Family. Today, we're speaking with Ann Sansing, director of Rural Medical and Science Scholars program, along with Jasmine Harris, assistant director. Ann, tell me what Mississippi State University Extension and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are doing to help promote health and science careers.

Ann Sansing: Our Rural Medical and Science Scholars program helps rising seniors determine if they want to pursue health related careers. It also helps shape students' interest and understanding of medicine, health related disciplines, or other STEM fields.

Amy Myers: Of what age does the program target?

Ann Sansing: Amy, we're targeting high school students that are currently completing their junior year in high school.

Amy Myers: Can you give our listeners a quick overview of what the scholars will experience?

Ann Sansing: For four weeks this summer, our students will take two college level courses, introduction to health professions and applied public health sciences, and earn a total of six college credits. They will get to shadow physicians, dentists, and other healthcare professionals in their area and they will visit the UMMC School of Medicine and talk to faculty and students. They also get to earn certification as a junior master wellness volunteer and in one of the courses, applied public health sciences, they will get to participate in various practical learning activities, including biosecurity and the age of avian influenza. They get to swab chickens for this virus. They learn about forensic entomology. They participate in an injury and illness simulation. Go to an engineering workshop, practice suturing techniques, and learn about one health related to animal and human health. Last but not least, they do live here on Mississippi State University campus and get a taste of college life.

Amy Myers: What drives the need for the program? Is the availability of healthcare professionals an issue?

Ann Sansing: Mississippi has the lowest number of physicians per person in the nation, and a shortage of dentists as well. Science and other STEM related careers are vitally important to the medical field.

Amy Myers: Do we have any successes we can point to from the rural medical scholars program?

Ann Sansing: Yes, Amy. This is the 20th year of the program and approximately 71% of our graduates have gone on to pursue health related careers. Nursing, pharmacy, counseling, dentistry, physical therapy, and so on. And, some STEM related careers. 46 have completed or are presently enrolled in medical school and 36 are practicing physicians in residency or private practice today.

Amy Myers: Jasmine, tell me, how do interested students or their parents get information about the program?

Jasmine Harris: More information and the application for RMS can be found on our website at or you guys can call me at 662-325-6640. To be eligible, a student must be a Mississippi resident and they must have a composite ACT score of a 22.

Amy Myers: What are the dates of the program and the costs?

Jasmine Harris: The dates of the program run from June the 2nd through June the 28th. Applications must be postmarked by March the 25th, and they will be competitively assessed. The program fee of $2,400 includes tuition reduction through MSU's College Ready program, housing, textbooks, and the program application fee. The food costs and the weekend travel expenses are variable and are not included in the program fee. For more information, as I said earlier, our information can be found at This is truly a summer to remember for students interested in exploring a career in health or science.

Amy Myers: Thank you Jasmine. For listeners who want to listen to this show again, you can go to and click on shows. Also, visit our Farm and Family Radio Facebook page. Today, we've been speaking with Ann Sansing, director of Rural Medical Scholars program. Also with Jasmine Harris-Speight, assistant director. I'm Amy Myers and this has been Farm and Family. Have a great day.

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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