FAQs

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Rural Physicians Scholarship Program Home
  • Undergraduate FAQ

    When can I apply for the undergraduate (pre-matriculation) phase?

    Plan to complete the application 2½ years before you aspire to enter medical school. For the traditional applicant, this is the sophomore year. The application window is only open Sept. 1-Feb. 15 each year. 

    What are these prerequisite courses for the pre-matriculation phase?

    Applicants must complete 8 hours of General Biology with lab, 8 hours of General Chemistry with lab, and 6 hours of math including College Algebra and Trigonometry or 3 hours of Calculus. Additionally, students must complete either 8 hours of Organic Chemistry with lab or 8 hours of Physics with lab prior to acceptance in MRPSP. Students can be enrolled in one or more of these courses during the spring semester when applying for the program.

    What overall or BCPM GPA is required to be accepted into the program?

    Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.0 BCPM GPA (biology, chemistry, physics and math) and cumulative GPA in order to apply. However, competition for the 15-20 slots available in the pre-matriculation phase is very competitive, so better grades help make you a better candidate.

    How many positions are available in the pre-matriculation program?

    Eighteen two-year participants are selected each year. The number of one-year participants is dependent on the vacant slots in the group preceding the initiates.

    What are the advantages of being a two-year participant rather than one year?

    Two-year participants receive Direct Admissions consideration, free MCAT prep including study materials and practice tests, access to four Medical Encounters events, and two years of physician shadowing.

    What is Direct Admission?

    Top two-year candidates who successfully interview with the executive director and physicians from the MRPSP Board of Directors are invited to interview with the UMMC School of Medicine Admissions Committee. If the Admissions Committee believes the applicant has the potential to grow into a competent, competitive medical student, the applicant is granted Direct Admissions status and admission into MRPSP.

    If granted Direct Admissions status, am I automatically accepted into UMMC's School of Medicine when I earn my baccalaureate? 

    No! The Admissions Committee will re-evaluate each student's file once the AMCAS application and UMMC secondary application are complete, a satisfactory MCAT score is on file and all required letters and transcripts have been received.

    In addition to good grades, what else can I do to enhance my chances of being selected?

    MRPSP seeks candidates with a demonstrated history of volunteerism, excellent time management skills, strong work ethic, leadership skills and initiative. It also is essential that applicants have been involved in physician shadowing at the time of applying. Applicants without shadowing experience will not be considered.

    Can I be eligible for the pre-matriculation phase if I don't live in a small town?

    MRPSP is designed for students who grew up in rural areas. Occasionally, urbanites have life stories that tie them to their rural roots. Examples would be recurrent summers spent with relatives in rural areas doing service or physician shadowing. These cases are evaluated individually with consideration given to all other attributes.

    What is Medical Encounters and do the events aid in effectively exposing students to medicine?

    Medical Encounters is designed to introduce students to primary care and give them a glimpse into life as a medical student. Each of the five primary care fields is experienced in half day sessions. Lunches with current MRPSP medical scholars open a window for undergraduate students to learn what it is like to wear the "short white coat." Skills such as intubation, fiberglass casting, suturing and basic venipuncture skills are learned in the UMMC simulation labs, and each student participates in CPR and cardiac defibrillation training. See the photos in the Undergraduate Section of this website to learn more about Medical Encounters.

    Where do I find the application for the pre-matriculation phase?

    See the "Application" tab on the home page or click here. Note that the application is only available Sept. 1-Feb. 15 each year.

    Are there any recommended classes that I should take to better prepare me for the program?

    Review the list of courses taken during the first two years of medical school (biochemistry, histology, genetics, cell biology, physiology, biostatistics, etc). If your university offers any of those courses, consider taking them even though it may not be required for graduation. Remember, there's a difference in minimum course requirements for admission and adequate preparation to survive medical school!

    If accepted into the pre-matriculation phase and I discover I don't want to specialize in primary care, can I get out of MRPSP?

    During the pre-matriculation phase, a participant can request to be released from MRPSP for any reason by contacting the executive director.

    What are the benefits of the program beside the $30,000 scholarship, Direct Admission consideration and free MCAT prep?

    It's an opportunity to earn a seat in medical school, meet some of your future classmates and learn the art of being a caring, compassionate "country doc."

    Who should I contact if I have questions during the application process?

    Contact MRPSP Executive Director Wahnee Sherman at wsherman@umc.edu or (601) 815-9022.