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Abstract

The United States is experiencing a physician shortage and rural areas are especially impacted. Programs exist to recruit college and medical students to work in rural areas, but few programs are focused on the high school “pipeline.” Medical students, residents and physicians who have lived in rural areas are more likely to practice in those areas. This article describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of a workshop to educate rural high school students about preparing for health professions careers. Evaluations of the workshop were positive and indicated increased knowledge and interest in careers in medicine and health professions. It is somewhat promising that even a brief educational program has the potential to increase interest of rural high school students to pursue medical or health professions careers, and perhaps ultimately increase the number of those practicing in rural areas. The authors discuss limitations and suggest changes for future workshop presentations.

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