By Maggie Edwards
White coats, stethoscopes and $500 book stipends from the Alabama Farmers Federation were on the agenda for the 2023 Auburn University (AU) Rural Medicine Program (RMP) White Coat Ceremony Aug. 9.
The RMP, now in its 18th year, accepts gifts from the Federation annually.
The Federation’s mission is to serve farmers and rural Alabamians, said Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan at the ceremony.
“The RMP strives to educate students who intend to practice rural medicine in the state of Alabama,” Pinyan said. “The Federation supports the development of rural physicians because we need doctors in these areas. We’re proud to give students book scholarships to relieve a financial burden.”
2023 recipients are:
- Tessa Davison, Grand Bay, Mobile County
- Jordan Dozier, Thomasville, Clarke County
- Cody Durham, Fackler, Jackson County
- Carmen Hadder, Parrish, Walker County
- Lauren McLeod, Waverly, Lee County
- Sadie Ross, Sardis City, Etowah County
- Jacob Statom, Tuscumbia, Colbert County
- Olivia Whitaker, New Hope, Madison County
The RMP has a 94.7% graduation rate and provides clinical experience before students enter medical school.
“This program was a steppingstone and firm foundation for me to go into medical school strong,” said Dr. William Griffin, a 2013 AU graduate and RMP participant. “You gain hands-on experience interacting with patients and preparing for your future career.”
After Griffin’s time at AU, he studied at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) and is now an internal medicine physician in Opelika.
Former AU, RMP and UAB student Dr. Tim Littmann echoed Griffin.
“What I do every single day, gives me the opportunity to directly connect with my patients,” said Littman, who is physician at a 20-bed hospital in Dadeville. “What I learned in RMP, I will use for the next 40 years and so will these students as they finish their journeys on the path to becoming successful and caring.”