The goal of the Care for Rural and Medically Underserved Populations discipline at VCOM is to foster a passion for primary care in rural and underserved areas, and to encourage students to practice primary care in communities most in need.
During the second year of study at VCOM, medical students participate in Early Clinical Experiences (ECEs). ECEs provide an opportunity for students to participate in Mini-Med School presentations as they travel to local high schools and teach important preventive health topics. Students also gain experience through supervised experiences at free clinics and assisting with health screenings during Appalachian medical missions.
In the third year, VCOM students participate in clinical rotations in medically underserved areas. As each site is unique, students gain a variety of clinical experiences, including office based practice, emergency call, hospitalized patients and nursing homes. The one-month underserved care rotation may be completed in the Appalachian region or at one of the school's three international sites.