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Thanks to the generous support of the Sarah Graham Kenan Endowment and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, the Kenan Primary Care Scholars Program, offers medical students rural experiences in Central, Eastern, and Western North Carolina through the Kenan Rural Scholars program.

Learn more about the programs, timelines, and current Kenan scholars using the quick links below.

If you are interested in speaking to a Kenan Scholar about their experience, please contact Meredith Bazemore. To learn more about the various campus opportunities, please visit the Rural Experience Leadership page for information about contacting Kenan Program Staff.

Why consider the opportunity to be a Kenan Primary Care Rural Scholar? Here’s what current students say about the program and rural medicine.

“I felt so fortunate to receive one-on-one training from a physician who shared my passion for serving the rural communities of NC. It was so exciting to see the “family” aspect of family medicine firsthand – often treating newborns, teenagers, and geriatric patients all in a single morning. .” – Allison Hollowell

“Community is also very important to me, and I hope to one day practice in a town where I can care for many generations of a single family” – Rivers Woodard


Chapel Hill, NC – April 26, 2022 – UNC Kenan Scholars reception at the Botanical Gardens reception center. Photography by Steve Exum of

“Being a rural scholar has kept me inspired during medical school and helped remind me why the heck I decided to do this crazy thing in the first place.” – Anna McKinsey




Learn more about past Rural Scholars on our Meet the Scholars page.

News Coverage

#GDTBATH – Ricardo Crespo, Kenan Scholar

UNC School of Medicine program helps rural NC | The Daily Tar Heel

Helping Medical Students Feel at Home in Rural Healthcare | Daily Yonder

Rural scholars program gets boost from $3M endowment | Citizen Times

Interested in learning more? Check out our Program Components and Benefits page next.

About the Kenan Primary Care Medical Scholars Programs

In 2013, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine (UNC SOM), The William R. Kenan Charitable Trust, and Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) collaborated to create the Kenan Primary Care Medical Scholars Program (formerly the Rural and Underserved Scholars Program). With the selection of ten scholars in 2018, the program has, and continues, to support fifty-four students seeking to serve in areas of primary care in rural North Carolina. Learn more about the Rural Experience here.

In partnership with Southeastern Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC), and partners around central North Carolina, the Kenan Primary Care Medical Scholars Program now offers opportunities across the state. The ultimate purpose of the program is to increase the number of UNC SOM students seeking rural health careers in North Carolina and to provide financial support and enrichment experiences to sustain their decisions.

Objectives and Goals

The Kenan Primary Care Medical Scholars (KPCMS) Program inspires students from The University of North Carolina School of Medicine to pursue rural, underserved patient practice in North Carolina in primary care specialties. The KPCMS Program supports to explore the unique complexities of patient care in rural North Carolina. Creating connections with communities, practices, and providers, resources and other like-minded individuals. To address the needs of our state population, the program aims to populate underserved regions with well-trained doctors to address health care disparities.

Expansion Into Urban Experiences

The success of the rural experience program prompted an expansion to include scholars interested in urban underserved populations as well. Each of the opportunities offer a six-week summer externship giving students valuable hands-on experience serving our most vulnerable populations in North Carolina.