Louise Berryhill of Decatur, Miss., and Maggie Dickerson of Florence, Miss., juniors at the University of Southern Mississippi, along with Brian Long from Hattiesburg, Miss., a senior, were recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program (MRPSP).
Berryhill is the daughter of Rick and Paula Berryhill of Decatur; Long is the son of Kevin and Shelly Long of Hattiesburg, and Dickerson is the daughter of Guy and Michelle Dickerson of Florence.
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 at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine or College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University, each MRPSP scholar is under consideration for $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 20,000 or fewer population located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.
MRPSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school, receive MCAT preparation, earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship in return for four years of service and learn the art of healing from practicing rural physicians.