Arkansas law authorizes the granting of educational loans and scholarships to medical students (and Alternates) for the purpose of increasing the number of physicians practicing medicine in rural communities in Arkansas. To qualify, you must be in need of financial assistance, a bona fide resident of Arkansas, and agree to repay your loan by practicing full-time Primary Care in a qualifying Rural Community in Arkansas. You do not choose your community until your medical training is complete.

Students accepted to medical school and those placed on the alternate list are eligible to apply each year. The application will be posted closer to the deadline each year.

Definition of a Medically Underserved Area

An area reasonably determined by the Board to be medically underserved. Medically underserved means an area determined to have unmet needs for medical services due to factors including/without limitation:

  • The ratio of primary care physicians to population
  • Infant mortality rate
  • Percentage of population below federal poverty level as of January, 2007
  • Percentage of resident individuals over age 60
  • Percentage of physicians over age 60
  • Accessibility within the area to primary care medicine
  • Other relevant criteria the Board deems necessary

Definition of a Qualified Community

A qualified community is one that is less than 20,000 in population and more than 20 miles from a community with more than 20,000 in population.

Definition of Primary Care

  • Family Medicine
  • General Internal Medicine
  • General Internal Pediatrics
  • General Pediatrics
  • General OB/GYN
  • General Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Geriatrics


For detailed information, download the files below:

Rural Practice Program Flyer

Rural Practice Program Fact Sheet

Student Application

Sample Student Contract

Alternate Applicants Sample Contract

Thoughts about making the decision to practice rural medicine.

Attention Rural Practice Participants

You must follow the Rural Practice Curriculum and you are encouraged to join the Rural Medicine Student Leadership Association.