MS Rural Physicians Scholars Program
We were instrumental in creating the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program (MRPSP), which was passed in the state legislature in 2007. MRPSP is a unique longitudinal enrichment program that identifies rural students who aspire to return to their roots to practice medicine. A solid academic and public service record, strong work ethic and desire to practice rural medicine in Mississippi are the basic requirements. By starting at the undergraduate level recruiting and mentoring students from across the state who are primarily from rural areas, MRPSP allows Mississippi to ‘grow our own’ rural primary care physicians.
MRPSP is now gaining momentum. In Winter 2022, the program had a total of 55 physicians practicing in rural Mississippi who have completed the program, with a projected number of 220 practicing physicians by 2030.
Since inception, the Mississippi State Legislature has allocated millions in scholarships, and private funding has also contributed. Increased funding over the years has increased the number of students able to participate, in turn increasing the program’s impact.
The program also has an economic impact on Mississippi. The addition of one physician to a community contributes an average of $2 million in additional economic output and an average of 9.3 jobs. Therefore, in addition to improving healthcare in the areas of Mississippi that need it the most, these primary care physicians reportedly have an economic impact of almost $114 million on our state.