The Alabama Farmers Federation is supporting the development of rural physicians for Alabama by giving $500 book stipends to Rural Medicine Program (RMP) students at Auburn University.
The RMP students hail from rural areas and have demonstrated a commitment to returning home to practice medicine. They are selected for admission to the UAB School of Medicine after completing a year of post-graduate study at Auburn.
The nine students of the 2021 entering class had a matriculation ceremony Aug. 16 at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika. During the program, the Alfa Farmers book stipends were presented.
RMP began its first class at Auburn in 2006; Alfa has supported the students every year. Usually the matriculation includes dinner with invited family. Because of COVID-19 precautions, there was no ceremony in 2020. In 2021, the students and a small group of faculty members gathered for the program.
The first RMP class graduated in 2011. Since then, 55 students have become physicians. Of these, 47% are practicing in rural Alabama compared with a national average of 10% of doctors who work in rural areas.