Three Pine Belt natives were recently selected to participate in the Mississippi Rural Physicians/Dentists Scholarship Program.
Cedonia S. Thomas, a junior at Tougaloo College and Seminary native, and Tierra Cooper, a junior at the University of Southern Mississippi and Laurel native, were both chosen to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program (MRDSP). Thomas is the daughter of Milo and Jacquelyn Thomas of Seminary, and Cooper is the daughter of Dwight and Melicia Cooper of Laurel.
Created in 2013 by the Mississippi Legislature, MRDSP identifies up to seven college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well-trained rural pediatric or general dentists in our state. The program offers two years of undergraduate academic enrichment including DAT (Dental Admission Test) preparation and clinical experience in a rural setting. Upon completion of all dental admissions requirements, the student can be admitted to the University of MS School of Dentistry.
During dental school, each MRDSP scholar may receive $35,000 per year based on available funding. The program will award nine scholarships in 2019-2020 totaling $315,000. With continued legislative support, the program hopes to grow to 12 scholarship totaling $420,000 by 2020. Additional benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural dentists and academic support.
After completing dental school, MRDSP scholars must practice general or pediatric dentistry in a rural, medically underserved community. The MRDSP scholar must provide dental services as determined by the MRDSP in a full-time clinical practice in an approved Mississippi community of 10,000 or fewer population located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.
The MRDSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to receive DAT preparation, benefit from mentoring, learn the art of oral healthcare from practicing rural dentists, and earn a $140,000 dental school scholarship in return for four years of service.
Morgan Kelly, a senior at William Carey University and a native of Hattiesburg, was recently selected to participate in the pre-matriculation portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program (MRPSP). Kelly is the daughter of Michael and Rebecca Thornhill of Hattiesburg.
Created in 2007, MRPSP identifies college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well-trained rural primary care physicians in our state. The program offers undergraduate academic enrichment and a clinical experience in a rural setting. Upon completion of all medical school admissions requirements, the student can be admitted to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine or William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
During medical school, each MRPSP scholar may receive $30,000 per year based on available funding. Consistent legislative support of MRPSP translates to 60 medical students receiving a total of $1,800,000 to support their education this fall. Additional benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural physicians and academic support.
Upon completion of medical training, MRPSP Scholars must enter a residency program in one of five primary care specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics. The MRPSP Scholar must provide four years of service in a clinic-based practice in an approved Mississippi community of 15,000 or fewer population located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.
The MRPSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school, receive mentoring during the medical school application process, earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship in return for four years of service and learn the art of healing from practicing rural physicians.