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Program Overview

The Pennsylvania AHEC Scholars Program is a two-year, customizable program that aims to prepare health professions and allied health students to care for rural and underserved patients and other vulnerable populations. It is our goal that through this program, AHEC Scholars will approach learning, future patient care, and research in a manner that is culturally competent, interprofessional, holistic, and responsive to current and emerging health needs. Scholars will learn to provide continuously improving care in a rapidly changing health care system through didactic and community-based experiential activities that focus on six core topic areas related to individual and population health, health care delivery, and health outcomes. Those six core topics include: 


The program spans two full academic years and will include 80 hours of didactic training (interactive, online) and 80 hours of experiential learning (clinical and community-based). Additionally, we provide various core content tracks that allow our scholars to customize their learning experience to best suit their career path and personal interests. More can be found on those tracks here

After participating in the Pennsylvania AHEC Scholars Program, students will be able to:

  1. Understand current and pertinent issues related to rural and undeserved health care in the U.S., including historical trends, philosophies, and theoretical frameworks.

  2. Examine and explain how social determinants of health, behavioral health needs, and cultural characteristics impact individual and overall population health. 

  3. Evaluate health care performance to design, implement, and advocate for interventions that address the unique needs of individuals or defined populations and improve health outcomes, disparities, and experiences.

  4. Demonstrate the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively in inter professional teams.

  5. Develop a professional identify that is attuned to the needs of vulnerable patients and that genuinely reflects on one's own beliefs and practices.



Social Determinants
of Health




Current and
Emerging Issues 

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