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
|(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
- Offer preceptor development activities
- Implement protocols for payment of eligible preceptor sites
- Represent preceptor concerns to the schools, AHECs, and AHEC Program Office
- Assist in linking preceptors to AHEC information resources
ORPCE Support for Students
- Coordinate student housing
- Assist with student logistics
- Facilitate quality educational experiences consistent with curricular goals
ORPCE Support for Health Science Schools
- Work with the schools in identifying and recruiting preceptor sites
- Coordinate placement and teaching of students in community-based sites
- Assist with the evaluation of community-based education