USF Area Health Education Center
USF Health



College and University Students

USF AHEC and our Centers support clinical training at community-based sites for health professions students. These sites bring health disparities to life for students, who witness first-hand the needs of uninsured and underinsured patients. We train you in these sites to show you the rewards and challenges of working with the medically needy – and possibly influence your career decisions toward practicing in an underserved area (HRSA).

All third-year USF medical students rotate through an AHEC-sponsored clinical training site as part of the Primary Care Clerkship.

Fourth year medical students have the opportunity to select from four AHEC elective courses available. Each elective is available every month during the academic year. (Visiting medical students may enroll in these classes only if they are currently enrolled at LCME/AOA accredited medical schools. The USF College of Medicine Internet site will provide visiting students access to elective course information, required forms, and important policy and contact information.) Please visit the University of South Florida College of Medicine site for the manual for electives to get the necessary information prior to contacting the USF College of Medicine Registrar.

  • MEL 7258: Elective in Rural Medicine (AHEC) - Family Medicine
  • MEL 8332: Elective in Rural Medicine (AHEC) - Internal Medicine
  • MEL 8417: Primary Care Community-Based Women's Health (AHEC)
  • MEL 8559: Pediatric Rural or Migrant Health (AHEC)

In addition, Gulfcoast North AHEC partners with other academic institutions such as Barry University, Florida A&M University, St. Petersburg College and the University of Florida to coordinate training for health professions students in its community-based and medically underserved sites in a five-county area. Gulfcoast South AHEC partners with Edison College, Florida A&M University, Florida Gulf Coast University, State College of Florida and Manatee Technical Institute to coordinate training in a four-county area.

AHEC relies on quality preceptors who possess the values and commitment to work in underserved communities – and provide the kind of comprehensive primary care that makes a difference in the lives of people in rural and inner-city areas.

For students highly committed to pursuing primary care, scholarship and loan repayment programs exist that can help alleviate the financial hardship that often accompanies the cost of attending medical school.  Undergraduate medical students are encouraged to visit the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program. (Fourth year medical students may be particularly interested in the Students to Service Program which pays down student loans during residency). 

Today, an estimated 3 million Floridians are medically underserved; hundreds of additional primary care clinicians are needed right now to fill current gaps; thousands will be needed in the coming years.  Who will serve the primary care needs of Florida’s rapidly growing population? The answer is aspiring health care providers like you, who with AHEC’s help have seen the need and are ready to practice in medically underserved areas.