Lorenzo Spencer, a junior at University of Southern Mississippi, was recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program (MRPSP). Lorenzo is the son of Lorenzo and Cheryl Spencer of Hattiesburg, Miss.
Created in 2007, MRPSP identifies up to 20 college sophomores who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well-trained rural primary care physicians in our state. The program offers two years of undergraduate academic enrichment including MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) preparation and a clinical experience in a rural setting.
Upon completion of all medical school admissions requirements, the student will be admitted to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine through Direct Entry.
During medical school, each MRPSP scholar may receive $30,000 per year based on available funding. Consistent legislative support of MRPSP translates to 50 medical students receiving a total of $1,500,000 to support their education this fall. Additional benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural physicians and academic support.
Upon completion of medical training, MRPSP Scholars must enter a residency program in one of five primary care specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics. The MRPSP Scholar must provide four years of service in a clinic-based practice in an approved Mississippi community of 20,000 or fewer population located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.
MRPSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school, receive MCAT preparation valued at $2,000, earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship in return for four years of service and learn the art of healing from practicing rural physicians.
The Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program and the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program are state-funded efforts to increase the number of dentists and physicians serving the health-care needs of Mississippians in rural areas. Housed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, and collaborating with its schools of medicine and dentistry and the College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, the programs use various outreach, mentoring and training methods to identify, support, educate and deploy new generations of health-care workers for Mississippi’s underserved populations. To learn more about either program, click here.