The Rural Health Professions Summer Preceptorship for College Students

The Rural Health Professions Summer Preceptorship for College Students is a rural immersion program for health professions students. It is a six-week, paid, full-time experience.

June 10 – July 23, 2019
SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Centralia
Centralia, IL

June 12 – July 24, 2019
Gibson Area Hospital
Gibson City, IL

The Preceptorship program is a full-time opportunity set in two rural communities in Illinois: Gibson City and Centralia. Four students are selected for each site and spend each week shadowing different healthcare professionals within the community.

Students work together in weekly classroom sessions and for their Community Service Learning (CSL) project, which is the culminating experience of the program and allows students to apply their understanding of healthcare to a real-life community health priority.

The experience is designed to:

  • Provide experience in a rural health care setting
  • Acquaint students with rural lifestyle
  • Convey awareness, knowledge and appreciation for a variety of health professions disciplines
  • Create awareness of rural health needs
  • Introduce students to rural practice and encourage consideration of practicing in a
    rural area

Eligible Health Professions Disciplines

Health professions students must have at least completed their sophomore year of undergraduate training and demonstrate an interest in rural health care.
• Medicine
• Pharmacy
• Nursing
• Public Health
• Social Work
• Physician Assistant
• Physical Therapy
• Nutrition
• Speech & Language Pathology
• Other health professions as appropriate

A Typical Six-Week Rural Experience

  • Engage in up to 16 days of shadowing a variety of different health care providers including physicians, pharmacists, nurses, mental health providers, physical therapists, public health professionals, home health workers, hospice staff, etc.
  • Complete a three-day orientation to the host hospital, including an introduction to hospital management
  • Complete a Windshield Tour of the community
  • Reside in a rural community for six weeks
  • Attend a variety of health care team meetings, including ethics committees, care coordination meetings, medical discharge meetings, tumor board meetings, etc.
  • Complete a community service learning (CSL) project with interdisciplinary intern group
  • Participate in weekly faculty-guided classroom discussions involving rural health care practice and theories as well as weekly journal reflections related to their shadowing experiences

Participation in all activities is mandatory and students must have their own transportation.

Community Service Learning Project

The Community Service Learning (CSL) Project is an integral part of the preceptorship. The purpose of the CSL is to emphasize the community context of health care. The project is decided on by the host site and benefits the larger community. Students spend at least one day a week working on the project which is guided by faculty and community preceptors. Below is a list of some of the previous projects completed by students:

  • Helped a local health department with their IPLAN process
  • Developed a worksite walking program for local hospital
  • Created a community health directory for the local community
  • Facilitated a health and wellness Fun Fest targeting children in kindergarten through
    8th grade and their families
  • Developed patient education materials around various chronic diseases

To apply

Health professions students who have completed sophomore year by the start of the program as well as graduate and professional-level students are eligible to apply.

The following documents are required to apply:

  • Completed application ( under student opportunities)
  • Personal statement that reflects your interest in:
    −−Exploring a variety of health professions
    −− Rural immersion and your interest in learning about rural health care
    −− Engaging in a community health project
  • Current curriculum vitae or resume
  • Letter of recommendation from a facultyinstructor
  • $25 application fee. Checks can be made out to the University of Illinois

Applications are not considered complete until all materials and fee have been received.
Applications are due Sunday, February 17, 2019.

For More Information

Vicky Rhine, MPH
University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford
National Center for Rural Health Professions
P: (815) 395-5854