Community Based Clinical Training
Caroline Mitchell, MPH
Student Support Coordinator
Welcome to the Magnolia Coastlands Area Health Education Center (MCAHEC) region.
Our goal is to help you gain fulfilling educational experiences by providing community-based learning opportunities and clinical experiences within the rural and urban underserved communities of southeast Georgia.
Community-based training will give you a unique opportunity to experience health care in a real world setting and interact one-on-one with your future patient population in community health centers, county health departments, local practitioners’ offices and many other community primary care sites. Current research has shown that health care professions students who have participated in these experiences have a better understanding of the complex needs of underserved communities.
Community- Based Clinical Training at Magnolia Coastlands AHEC is arranged by our Preceptor Coordinator.
We can offer health care professionals the opportunity to precept health care professions students in clinical rotations. Students benefit from the experience, and the preceptor may benefit from new ideas and techniques currently being taught in the academic health sciences institutions. In addition, precepting students is an excellent way to recruit future health care professionals into your organization.
Housing Support for Students in Clinical Training
Whenever possible, MCAHEC will provide housing to students rotating in our region. Housing is assigned by our Student Support Coordinator, on a first come, first served basis. Please direct all housing and travel assistance questions to the Student Support Coordinator. To reserve housing, please email the Student Support Coordinator with the dates of your rotation, city of your rotation, and practice/hospital where you will be rotating. All students will be required to complete a Student Profile Form, Housing Agreement Form, and a Vaccination Attestation which will be sent by the Student Support Coordinator.
If there has been a change to your rotation, please contact us.
You will receive an email two weeks prior to your rotation with necessary forms and information.
Once we receive your forms, you will be sent an email confirmation of housing with directions and check in contact information. If you are a student who does not require housing, AHEC can assist you in other ways, such as with a travel stipend.
MCAHEC Housing Locations: Dublin, Savannah, St. Marys, Brunswick, Statesboro, and Vidalia.
The Anchor Program was launched in June 2010 through a partnership between MCAHEC, GA-PCOM, and Houston Healthcare to address the “weak primary care capacity” in Georgia. The collaboration is a perfect fit for the partners concerned, since they have a common goal: to meet the rural health care needs and to meaningfully and successfully address the shortages of health professionals in Georgia. In order to more successfully recruit primary care providers to underserved communities, the MCAHEC needed to keep students in the region for extended periods of time. This would allow students to make some connections in the community, expose them to regional residency programs, and thus increase their likelihood of returning as licensed primary care physicians. According to Georgia AHECs, this community-based clinical training would provide medical students an opportunity to experience health care in a real world setting, and to have a better understanding of the complex needs of underserved communities. Such strategic thinking encouraged Georgia AHECs to develop the Anchor Program.
The Anchor Program provides community based clinical training opportunities to students for a longer period of time in Warner Robins and now in Statesboro as well. During their stay in the region, the participating students are required to complete seven core clerkships, three electives, a clinical skills class, and an additional Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine class. The program provides students opportunities to connect with the community, network with the medical professionals, and to experience and work in the culture of diverse populations in southeast Georgia.
Farmworker Migrant Clinic
Providing service-learning opportunities for students in health care professions may be one way to help alleviate the problem of a shortage of healthcare professionals in rural areas. More importantly, these opportunities would also provide critically needed services to the underserved populations in rural Georgia, such as the migrant and seasonal farm workers. These men and women face significant challenges to accessing health care due to the difficult nature of their work, their poverty and mobility, and their challenging living arrangements. In order to provide clinical services to these farm workers with the help of various health professions students, MCAHEC coordinates numerous farm clinics in Candler, Tattnall and Toombs counties in southeast Georgia during the spring and summer. These clinics are implemented in partnership with East Georgia Healthcare Center’s Farmworker Health Program and Southeast Georgia Communities Project, both non-profit organizations.
These clinics offer the target population increased access to health resources through health screening services and health education. They bring health care providers, employers and policymakers together to create positive changes in the lives of the migrant population. The program also focuses on the health profession students’ perceptions about working with migrant farm workers, their intent to work in a rural area, and, finally, their experience working through interpreters, which furthers the cultural competency of the attending health profession students.
Moreover, the clinics give students hands-on clinical experience and provide inspiration, direction, and vision necessary to build stronger, healthier communities, and, most of all, to give the cultural awareness which would help them understand migrant needs.
Preceptor Tax Incentive Program (PTIP)
In 2014, Georgia became the first state in the nation to offer a tax deduction to community based physicians who provided uncompensated training to our state’s medical students.
In 2019, the Georgia legislature took this a step further by abolishing the old tax deduction and replacing it with a tax credit applicable to an individual’s state income tax. The new program allows community based preceptors (licensed medical, osteopathic, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant) who are not compensated for teaching, to earn tax credits for providing community-based clinical training for students from the state’s public or private medical, osteopathic, advanced practice nursing, or physician assistant educational programs.
Physicians can earn a total of $8,500 tax credits each calendar year while APRNs and PAs can earn up to $6,375 in tax credits for the same period. Credits are accrued by providing a rotation (160 hours of training per credit) with a maximum of 10 possible credits earned. The first 3 rotations are rewarded with a $500 tax credit (for each rotation) for physicians; APRN and PA’s earn $375 each for the first 3 rotations completed. Physicians earn $1000 each for rotations 4-10 while APRNs and PAs earn $750 each for rotations 4-10.
This novel program provides a way for Georgia’s educational partners to say “thank you” to the volunteer, uncompensated community based preceptors who train our next generation of key health care providers.
For more information, requirement, and to register for the PTIP program visit: www.augusta.edu/ahec/ptip.php
Your Support Matters
A donation to Magnolia Coastlands AHEC helps our students and our community.