The primary responsibility of the educational programs of the College of Community Health Sciences is to contribute to the improvement of health care in Alabama, emphasizing small towns and rural areas. The programs of the College are designed to increase the accessibility and availability of health care, and to improve its quality.
The College of Community Health Sciences is charged with the responsibility of
- providing the last two years of clinical training for a portion of the medical students enrolled in the University of Alabama School of Medicine
- operating a family practice residency program based in Tuscaloosa
- making expertise in the medical and health sciences available to existing educational programs on campus, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels
- working with the University of Alabama School of Medicine to integrate the programs and operations of the medical program with the nonmedical aspects of health care delivery
- providing training sites and internships for students in social work, nursing, health care management, pharmacy, clinical dietetics, and health education
The College of Community Health Sciences is a community-based campus of the University of Alabama School of Medicine providing an additional site for the training of medical students during the clinical years. All medical students complete phase I of the medical training program on the Birmingham campus. Upon completion of phases II and III (the third and fourth years of clinical training) through any of the three campus systems, a student is awarded the M.D. degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine.
A major education program of the College entails providing the last two years of clinical training for a portion of the medical students enrolled at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. The College's resources are used to contribute to the education of the "undifferentiated physician," one who is competent at the basic level in all the traditional clinical disciplines and whose education is enriched by an orientation toward and skill in primary care and community medicine.
Each medical student who receives part or all of the required clinical training in Tuscaloosa is enrolled in and receives the M.D. degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Thus, clinical clerkships and electives must meet or exceed the minimum standards set by the appropriate faculty committees of the University of Alabama School of Medicine.
The College's Family Practice Residency Program was approved in September 1973 and the first resident was accepted in January 1974. The College is committed to producing family physicians capable of providing continuing, comprehensive, family-centered care for their patients. Through the educational programs of its family practice residency, the College fosters the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to create outstanding physicians who will deliver high-quality patient care. This key mission has the resources and support of the entire College dedicated to its accomplishment.
Initiatives have been developed to further enhance opportunities for the College to fulfill its mission of increasing accessibility, availability, and quality of health care to Alabama's citizens.
The Rural Health Scholars Program was created to give high-school students from rural backgrounds who are interested in becoming health professionals a head start in the college preparation they will need for admission to all health professional schools.
The Rural Medical Scholars Program was created to prepare 10 outstanding rural scholars each year for family medicine or primary care practice in Alabama. Scholars enroll in preparatory courses at UA and, upon completion of their studies, must meet requirements for admission to medical school. Students matriculate two years at UAB for the basic medical sciences component of their curricula and return to Tuscaloosa to CCHS for the clinical clerkship years, where they will be involved in special medical experiences that include rural preceptorships.