College students can gain rural health experience with summer programs

The National Center for Rural Health Professions at the UIC Health Sciences Campus in Rockford offers three summer opportunities for health professions students interested in gaining experience in rural health care.

The six-week "Rural Interprofessional Preceptorship Program: the Preceptorship" program is a full-time, paid opportunity set in two rural communities in Illinois: Gibson City and Centralia.

Four students are selected for each site and spend each week shadowing different health care professionals within the community.

Students work together in weekly classroom sessions and for their Community Service Learning (CSL) project, which is the culminating experience and allows students to apply their understanding of health care to a real-life community health priority. Basic housing and meals are provided at each site.

The program runs June-July, with specific dates varying by site.

Application materials are due Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019.

For students interested in a short-term commitment, the center offers multiple options.

The Rural Health Experience is a three- to five-day rural immersion program in which students shadow different health care professionals within a rural Illinois community.

Students have the opportunity to network within health care facilities and understand what it is like to be a health care leader in that particular community. Locations for the RHE are available across the state and dates are dependent upon the schedules of the sites and students. Limited housing and meals may be available.

Two other short-term commitments include the camp counselor and camp counselor leader positions for the Rural Health Careers Camp.

The camp is a four-day, overnight program that includes hands-on activities and labs to educate rural high school students on health care careers. Camp counselors are needed to assist in the day-to-day operations of the camp.

Camp counselor leaders assume these and additional responsibilities under the direction of the program coordinator prior to, and during, the camp.

Both camp counselors and camp counselor leaders must stay in the dorms each night of the program and are paid for their time working for the camp.

Applications for the RHE program and the camp counselor and camp counselor leader positions are due Sunday, March 3, 2019.

Students who have completed at least sophomore year of undergraduate studies as well as graduate and professional-level students are encouraged to apply. Application instructions are available under Student Opportunities at Questions can be forwarded to Vicky Rhine at

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