MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - Two students at PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie will have all of their medical school expenses paid for.
While The National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program will take tuition off these med students' minds, in turn, they’re focused on helping bridge the gap as physicians.
“I am looking forward to helping a lot of people who would normally have limited access to health care," said Jasmine Rogers, a second year doctor of osteopathic medicine student.
She said growing up in an under-served community, it was normal to wait months to go to a doctor’s appointment.
“Because that’s the only clinic that probably took your health insurance, or that’s the only clinic that was probably free. That’s why I’m super excited that I got the scholarship with National Health Service Corps because the mission is to make sure that the number of physicians go up in under-served communities," said Rogers.
After students finish their residency, the program helps place them in a community with a health professional shortage.
They practice for a number of years as a physician.
Rogers said PCOM South Georgia prepared them well by involving them in real-life patient simulations and clinical rotations.
First year doctor of osteopathic medicine student Yesenia Stephens also grew up in a smaller town, and is familiar with the need for physicians in some areas of Southwest Georgia.
“I want to go wherever I’m the most needed. I know it’s a lot of work, however, it’s very fulfilling. I think it’s easier to get to a feel for a small community and really get to know everyone," said Stephens.
Experiencing the differences in access to healthcare in large cities and smaller underserved cities, Stephens understands the health disparities many people face.
“It’s such a big difference, like night and day, with just the availability of providers, appointments, services. I think that people should have access to health care regardless of where they choose to live," said Stephens.
“Whatever community need’s my help, that’s where I want to be," said Rogers.