AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program

Health Sciences Student Resources » ORPCE

Student Resources


Offices of Regional Primary Care Education

In 1993 and 1995, the NC AHEC Rural Primary Care Initiative received funding from the NC General Assembly to support rural primary care, community-based education. As a result, an Office of Regional Primary Care Education (ORPCE) was created at each of the nine AHECs to facilitate the teaching of primary care students in community settings. Due to significant growth in community-based education, the General Assembly allocated additional funds to the AHEC Program in 1997.

The mission of the ORPCEs is to facilitate quality, community-based, primary care education for health science students. In 1993-94, the ORPCEs provided assistance to 595 individual students; this number reached 2,546 in 2011-2012.

ORPCE Program: 2011-2012
Student Months
Community Sites
(1 student month = 20 days)

Currently, the AHEC ORPCEs facilitate the teaching of medical, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, certified nurse midwifery, and UNC-Chapel Hill PharmD students in 1,382 community sites and with more than 2,180 individual preceptors across the state.

High quality community-based education depends on effective partnerships between the health science schools, AHECs, and practicing clinicians. ORPCEs support preceptors, students, and health science schools:

ORPCE Support for Preceptors

ORPCE Support for Students

ORPCE Support for Health Science Schools