Pathway to Med School

In 2004, SOWEGA-AHEC, in collaboration with Albany Area Primary Health Care, Inc. (a Federally Qualified Health Center) and the Southwest Georgia Family Medicine Residency developed the Pathway to Med School Program. The Pathway to Med School program specifically targets Georgia pre-med college students who plan to pursue a medical career in primary care. The goal of the program is to not only foster an early interest in primary care medicine, but also encourage participants to return to South Georgia and other rural areas as providers. Therefore, the program strives to address southwest Georgia's designation as a medically underserved area.

The four-week long program consists of shadowing primary care physicians, working on practice-based community research projects, and attending seminars. Of the 160-hour structured residential experience, 60% is clinical shadowing and 40% is research. The Pathway program includes learning opportunities that are designed to enhance the participants' ability to gain admission into medical school through round-table discussions, assistance with personal statements, MCAT preparation, multiple mock interviews, and lunch with the Deans of Admissions from the five Georgia medical schools. All experiences take place in the SOWEGA-AHEC 38-county service area. Preference is given to students from rural counties, especially those from southwest Georgia.

Applicants to the program must:

  1. Be at least a rising college sophomore working on a pre-med curriculum in a Georgia college.
  2. Have a minimum overall 3.0 GPA and a 3.0 GPA in science/math courses.
  3. Be a legal US and Georgia resident.
  4. Have reliable transportation during the 4-week program.

Interested students complete the application and submit a 500 word essay entitled, "Why I'm Interested in Becoming a Primary Care Physician." The application period is from January 1- March 1 each year with successful candidates being notified of acceptance by April 30th.

2004 - 2013 Historical Facts

Number of Pathway applicants: 352
Number of students accepted to Pathway program: 77
Number of participants who have completed med school application process: 52
Number who have been accepted to med school: 44

Of the past ten classes of Pathway graduates, 88% who have applied to and heard from medical school, have gained admittance.