AHEC Scholars Program

AHEC Scholars is a program designed with one goal in mind: To enhance the ability of health professions students to create change and reshape the status quo for healthcare in your community. Students accepted into the program will engage in clinical, didactic, and community based activities in rural and underserved areas of Western Maryland to build their skill sets and positively impact the lives of rural Marylanders.

Launching its inaugural class in July 2019, AHEC Scholars seeks to enroll 45 students per year, including but not limited to the following health professions:

  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurse Midwives
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists
  • Psychologists
  • Optometrists
  • Community Health Workers

Note: Other disciplines such as nursing, social work, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and public health may also be approved and these students are encouraged to apply.



  • Become a leader in your profession and community
  • Receive supplemental training and education from experts in rural healthcare
  • Develop an astute understanding of how to best implement health care services in rural or underserved areas
  • Learn how to work as part of an interprofessional team
  • Provide meaningful patient care in the field and gain hands-on experience

Accepted Scholars are enrolled in this program for two years, and must fulfill the following requirements annually for a total of 160 hours of additional curriculum beyond your college or school’s health professions components (80 hours total in year one, and 80 hours total in year two) to complete the program:


40 hours of community-based experiential or clinical training in a rural or underserved area:

Community-based training requires scholars to complete a pre-approved rotation in a rural or underserved area of Maryland for a minimum of 40 hours annually. Scholars will receive hands-on training with a preceptor, engage with interdisciplinary healthcare providers, and become familiar with the multifaceted nature of health care in rural communities.


40 hours of didactic education focused on the following eight Core Topic Areas:
  • Interprofessional Education
  • Behavioral Health Integration
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Cultural Competency
  • Practice Transformation
  • Current and Emerging Health Issues
  • Virtual Learning and Telehealth
  • Connecting Communities and Supporting Health Professionals

Benefits of being an AHEC Scholar:

  • Receive a Maryland AHEC Scholars Program Certificate of Completion, signifying an advanced accomplishment that enhances knowledge and skills.
  • Engage in interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration.
  • Enhance your education through immersive experiences in clinical and community-based settings.
  • Make a direct impact on rural and underserved communities in Western Maryland.
  • Grow your passions in a supportive, community-based learning environment.
  • Build relationships with scholars in other disciplines, faculty, staff, and clinical preceptors.
  • Cultivate your professional skillset in leadership, problem-solving, community health, and innovation.
  • Make professional connections in the communities in which you may practice post-graduation.
  • Receive free housing during clinical rotation assignments in the Hagerstown, Cumberland or Oakland areas.
  • AHEC Scholars receive an AHEC Scholar T-shirt and lapel pin. In addition, for institutions where it is approved, AHEC Scholars also receive a graduation cord and charm for commencement ceremonies
For more information contact Joy Taylor at