COSAM News Articles 2021 June Rural Medicine Program celebrates students preparing to give back to rural communities

Rural Medicine Program celebrates students preparing to give back to rural communities

Published: 06/01/2021

By: Maria Gebhardt

“Thank you for being part of this program and making a genuine commitment to help small communities that need family doctors more than ever,” said Dr. Larry Wit, academic director of the Rural Medicine Program (RMP) as he welcomed the students to the fifteenth annual RMP Celebration Dinner held at the Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Convention Center.

The dinner honored 13 students who completed the program and are now entering medical school at the University of Alabama School of Medicine.

“During the pandemic, we faced challenges, but it is how we responded that showed our true character,” said Laura Catherine Cresswell. “Although we were not able to go to clinics to see patients, this year has been both informative and inspirational for me, and strengthened my dreams of becoming a rural physician.”

Cresswell, a student in the program, shared her reflections at the celebration dinner.   

Hunter Johnson shared the same sentiments of this unique program.

“The information given to us during this program is invaluable,” Johnson shared. “This program puts us ahead of the curve for medical school and we have a team of great leaders that help prepare us to become doctors.”

After Cresswell and Johnson spoke, all 13 students were personally recognized for completing the program.

“Being a rural medicine doctor allows me to give back to the community and provide the best medical care to people who are not located in larger cities to easily receive it,” said Jay Foster.

Each student was given a plaque by Dr. Keith Bufford, medical director, and Dr. David Bramm, program director.  

“This program has given me the encouragement and support I needed,” shared Ellie Pitchford.

These students, who are all from small towns in the state, completed this rigorous program in preparation of attending medical school and becoming family doctors in rural parts of the state.

“The thing that I love about this program is that it teaches you much more than you think it will,” said Amy Garcia. “It helps you refine your personal skills and helps you to understand all of the facets to being a good physician.”

Dr. Bramm offered his final remarks.

“Thank you for making a commitment to rural medicine in the state of Alabama,” he said as he gave closing comments and offered congratulations to this team of future doctors as they continue their journey giving back to others. 

Class of 2020-2021 – Rural Medicine Program
Nikki Ahuja – Clanton, AL
Caleb Bush – Eufaula, AL
Chloe Carroll – Guntersville, AL
Laura Catherine Cresswell – Arab, AL
Jay Foster – Moulton, AL
Jordan Frank – Elberta, AL
Kaysie Freer – Ohatchee, AL
Amy Garcia – Jemison, AL
Spencer Gibbs – Ranburne, AL
Courtney Haymon – Rainsville, AL
Hunter Johnson – Lowndesboro, AL
Cara Parker – Sand Rock, AL
Ellie Pitchford – Scottsboro, AL
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