The Rural Alabama Health Professional Training Consortium is a rural community health center-based program that began in 1990 to provide interdisciplinary training for medical, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and nutrition students. After 6 years, 166 students had participated. This article discusses an evaluation of the impact of this program on these students by means of comparing pre-tests and post-tests. Dentists demonstrated attitudes less favorable to locating in rural practices compared to other students. There was a significant increase in clinical competencies relevant to rural practice. Professional perceptions about working in an interdisciplinary environment were significantly lower for medical students compared to pharmacists, but their attitudes improved over time. The team concept was highly rated. Over 90% of the students thought that the program met or exceeded their expectations and would recommend it to other students, except for nurses. Over 80% of the students will consider working in a rural area on graduation, except for dentists.
Professor and Chair, Department of Community and Rural Medicine, The University of Alabama School of Medicine—Tuscaloosa Program, Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Leeper)
Executive Director, E.A. Maddox Center, Family HealthCare of Alabama, Eutaw, Alabama (Hullett)
Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Community and Rural Medicine, University of Alabama School of Medicine—Tuscaloosa Program, Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Wang)