Health Professions Student Program

Connecting Students to Communities

About the Program

Health Professions Student Programs provide community-based training experiences, exposing students to the opportunities of working in rural and underserved areas of South Carolina.

The South Carolina AHEC Health Professions Student (HPS) Program collaborates with health professions programs in our state to provide community-based education for undergraduate and graduate students. This community-based education is designed to expose students to the realities of clinical practice in rural and underserved areas and to introduce them to communities as a focus for health improvements. Regional HPS coordinators are a major resource for facilitating student placements, orienting students to communities, and organizing student projects. There are four different AHEC regions and each region has dedicated AHEC HPS coordinators.

Health Professions Student Programs Last Year

893
Student training placements
448
Student training placements in medically-underserved communities
308
Student training placements in rural communities
251
Health professions preceptors at 229 community-based training sites

Programs and Services

Activities through the SC AHEC community-based placement programs support the goal to improve access to primary care by developing and supporting primary care professionals. SC AHEC HPS coordinators have established a network of over 500 preceptor sites willing to serve as training sites for health professions students. These sites include private clinical practices, community health centers, migrant health centers, rural health clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and health departments.

Services

Our services vary according to region and the curriculum requirements of each academic institution, but usually include the following:

  • Interface with clinical programs at academic institutions
  • Recruit preceptors and clinical rotation sites
  • Assist students with housing
  • Orient students to communities
  • Link students to community-based projects
  • Conduct clinical site visits
  • Facilitate interprofessional/interdisciplinary education activities
  • Provide technology support

Opportunities include:

  • Clinical Placements: These activities include identifying new training sites in rural and underserved areas for allied health, medical, dental medicine, physician assistant, nursing, pharmacy, and public health students; teaching students how to work as part of an interprofessional team in the delivery of care; and introducing them to population health.
  • Family Medicine Rural Clerkship: This initiative is a joint effort between the UofSC School of Medicine and the MUSC College of Medicine designed to broaden the focus of medical student learning from providing individual patient care to improving the health of defined, rural, underserved populations in South Carolina. Find out more on the Family Medicine Rural Clerkship website.
  • Medical Student Elective Rotations: South Carolina AHEC coordinates a number of elective rotations for fourth-year medical students in a variety of communities and settings.

Housing

The four regional AHEC centers have housing resources for student use while on their community-based rotations. Housing location, availability and requirements vary by region. Please contact your South Carolina regional AHEC coordinator via the links below to find out more about housing options.

Contact Regional Centers for Placement and Housing Information

Contact your regional AHEC Health Professions Student Programs coordinator for more information about opportunities in your region.

Not sure which region you are in? Use our Region Finder to contact your local AHEC center.

Seminar Series: Institute for Primary Care

Now fully virtual | Monthly seminar series | Open to all graduate health professions students

Join the dialogue about the future of primary care! What should healthcare look like in the future? Put what you've learned into practice with this series of online seminars featuring case-based learning, guest speakers, and chances to interact with interprofessional groups of health professions students and providers from across the state.

AHEC Scholars credit available. All students who attend 5 or more seminars will receive a recognition certificate.

The Institute for Primary Care began in 2013 with funding from The Duke Endowment. Since its inception, the Institute has been providing a monthly interprofessional seminar series; an annual conference; and opportunities for mentorship, networking, and leadership to students who are interested in and committed to primary care.

2021-2022 Seminar Dates

  • September 13
  • October 11
  • November 8
  • January 10
  • February 14
  • March 14
  • April 11

IPC Core Faculty Members

Participate in IPC Seminars

If you have questions, contact Shaquana Randall at randals@musc.edu or 843-792-4429.

An I T C C video call takes place on a laptop sitting on a tabletop next to a cup of tea. Students communicate with each other on screen.

South Carolina AHEC’s Interprofessional Team Case Conference (ITCC) brings students from various professions (Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Social Work, Physical Therapy, Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, Community Health Workers) and academic institutions across the state (MUSC, UofSC, A.T. Still, VCOM, Francis Marion University, and others) together to discuss a case of a patient in a rural, underserved area of South Carolina and to develop a longitudinal care plan.

How It Works

  • Review the case study (approximately 1-2 hours) and submit your answers to 9-10 questions about the case prior to the session.
  • Participate in the ITCC session via WebEx.
  • Complete the questionnaire upon conclusion of the ITCC assessing this learning experience.

Project Focus & Completion

Areas of focus for the case conference will include:

  • Goals for the management of the patient.
  • Consultations, as appropriate, and how to facilitate them.
  • Community resources available to aid with the patient’s care.
  • Development of a comprehensive, team-focused care plan and identification of goals in the patient’s care.
  • Patient/Caregiver education.
  • Population health-related implications of this case.

A questionnaire will be distributed at the conclusion of the ITCC seeking your assessment of this learning experience. Upon completion, you will receive a recognition letter from academic leaders at MUSC and SC AHEC that you can include on your curriculum vitae as a scholarly learning experience.

2021-2022 ITCCs

  • July 6, 2021
  • August 3, 2021
  • September 14, 2021
  • October 5, 2021
  • October 12, 2021
  • November 2, 2021
  • November 9, 2021
  • December 7, 2021
  • January 11, 2022
  • January 18, 2022
  • February 1, 2022
  • March 1, 2022
  • April 5, 2022
  • May 3, 2022
  • June 7, 2022

Sign up for an ITCC

If you have questions, or to participate in an upcoming ITCC, please contact Marti Sturdevant at sturdev@musc.edu.

Screenshot of the H P S page of programming on the AHEC Learning Portal.

Live, webinar, online modules and on-demand videos are available for health professions students via the AHEC Learning Portal registration system.

The AHEC Learning Portal hosts programs on telehealth, interprofessional practice, rural health and practice, and more!

Go to AHEC Learning Portal
A faculty member works with a medical student during a hands-on skills workshop

Family Medicine Interest Day is designed to promote the specialty of family medicine as a career option and to recruit medical students into South Carolina's family medicine residency training programs. Medical students have the opportunity to attend workshops and to network with family medicine residency training program faculty members and their residents. Students from medical schools in South Carolina and across the southeast are invited to attend. The event is a joint venture between the South Carolina AHEC, the South Carolina Family Medicine Residency Training Programs, and the South Carolina Academy of Family Physicians.

To find out more information about Family Medicine Interest Day, please contact Kristin Cochran at cochrak@musc.edu.

To address the maldistribution of healthcare providers in South Carolina, the Rural Incentive Grant Program provides financial incentives to qualified healthcare providers who contract to practice in rural and underserved areas of the state for up to 4 years. South Carolina AHEC also offers enhanced incentives for the Rural Incentive Grant Program for graduates from South Carolina family medicine residency programs and other recruitment and retention resources.

Explore Recruitment & Retention Resources
Christina F., H P S student

Supporting Our Future Healthcare Workforce

"Thank you all for helping make my second rotation at Spartanburg Area Mental Health a wonderful one. My preceptors have been very influential and aided greatly in my learning. The AHEC housing has been a blessing! The apartment and amenities exceeded my expectations and I am very thankful for the housing. As a student, it reduced my financial burden greatly and I am so appreciative. Thank you for all that you do!"

-Christina F., PA-S; 2019 MUSC Physician Assistant Program Graduate

Join South Carolina AHEC Scholars

Are you interested in rural and underserved care? Apply for the SC AHEC Scholars program for an opportunity to collaborate with fellow health profession students from various disciplines and institutions across the state.

Learn More about AHEC Scholars