Pathway to Med School
Foothills Area Health Education Center (AHEC), in collaboration with community partners from across northeast Georgia, have developed the Pathway to Med School (PTMS) program specifically for undergraduate college students who are Georgia residents, have completed 1+ pre-medicine courses (biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, etc.), and plan to attend medical school to become a primary care physician in the state of Georgia. Click the links below for more details.
If you are a physician interested in volunteering, please visit our Pathway to Med School Physician Orientation page.
The Pathway to Med School program consists of 180 scheduled program hours. These hours can be broken down into three areas: clinical shadowing (80 hours), community based research (60+hours), and instructional sessions (40 hours).
Students will be scheduled for 80 hours of clinical shadowing in primary care clinics across northeast Georgia. These experiences are intended to give students an idea of a typical day as a primary care physician, and may include seeing patients, attending meetings, researching, etc.
Physicians that volunteer to serve as a primary investigator for a PTMS research project will supervise students as they complete all phases of their research. Project work begins immediately to allow students time to prepare, collect data, analyze results, and develop a research poster and presentation. Although there are sixty hours scheduled for groups to work on their projects, students are expected to use additional time during the evenings and weekends as necessary to complete their posters and presentations.
The efforts and lessons from each project are shared with physicians, family, and friends during the program graduation ceremony. During the fall semester following the program, students have an opportunity to submit their research for presentation at the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Scientific Assembly, affording them presentation experience and networking opportunities.
Medical School Campus Visits
Visits are made to both the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership in Athens and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine-Georgia Campus in Suwanee. During the visits, students attend a variety of instructional sessions to prepare them for application to medical school. Sessions vary from school to school and year to year but may include:
info session with faculty/admission representatives
Q&A session with current students
attending a class/lab
Mock Interview Day
Mock Interview Day has been highly touted by former PTMS students. During this session, admissions representatives from Georgia medical schools interview students, exposing them to real medical school interview questions and practices in a no-pressure situation. Representatives also provide students with feedback on current interviewing/acceptance trends and tips on how to best prepare and improve their skills. (Students participate in an information and practice session prior to this session.)
Physician Roundtable Dinner
One evening of the program, students attend a roundtable dinner hosted by Foothills AHEC, during which physicians from each primary care specialty will share their insight on current trends in healthcare. This event is a favorite among Pathway to Med School students. Before the meal, physicians representing family medicine, internal medicine, pediatric medicine, and women's health contribute to a discussion of how varied topics influence their everyday work. Past topics have included the Affordable Care Act, the patient-centered medical home, rural healthcare delivery, preventative medicine, and population health. The evening includes a Q&A session during which students may seek advice regarding medical school, residency, career searching, etc, and concludes with dinner.
Each Pathway to Med School student is connected with a current medical student at one of the medical schools in the Foothills AHEC region during campus visits. The medical students serve as a source of guidance, encouragement, and support throughout the intensive program. Students are encouraged to continue this relationship beyond the program, seeking the advice of their mentors as they go through the application and matriculation processes.
Students applying to the PTMS program must meet ALL of the following requirements to be eligible for consideration:
have 2+ years of undergraduate coursework completed by the start of the June program and enrolled in a pre-medicine curriculum documented on transcript
have a minimum 3.0 GPA overall and a minimum 3.0 GPA in math and science coursework
be a legal resident of Georgia and a U.S. citizen
complete the online application and essay by the deadline of 5:00 P.M., February 14, 2020
ensure official transcripts are submitted and received by the program coordinator by 5:00 P.M., February 14, 2020 (print copies must be sealed; digital copies must be sent from your school registrar's office)
have reliable transportation of your own to travel to all program engagements
ONLY apply to one of the two PTMS programs in the state (students from the southern half of the state are encouraged to apply to the Southwest Georgia AHEC Pathway to Med School program.)
Foothills AHEC Service Region
Preference will be given to students from the 31 counties served by Foothills AHEC.
PTMS participants are provided a comprehensive program schedule prior to program orientation. The schedule shown here outlines the application process and other important dates.
For questions regarding the application and/or transcripts, please email the program coordinator.
December 16 Online Application Opens
February 14 Application & Official Transcripts Due
(only complete applications and official transcripts will be considered eligible)
Early April Notice of Acceptance
April 24 Documentation, Vaccination Requirements Due
May 26 Move in, Pre-program Activities begin
May 28 Orientation
June 25 Graduation Ceremony
2019/20 Pathway to Med School Program Dates
PTMS & Georgia Primary Care
What is primary care?
Primary care describes medical specialties that serve as the front lines of healthcare. Primary care physicians complete broad training and provide day-to-day care for patients across their lifespan.
What specialties are included in primary care?
Women's Health (OB/GYN)
Why does Pathway to Med School focus on primary care?
Georgia is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, especially in rural and underserved areas. Pathway to Med School supports students interested in pursuing careers that will meet these needs.
How does Pathway to Med School benefit participants?
Pathway to Med School provides early exposure to primary care and community medicine, establishes a network of medical students and physicians to support students as advisors and future colleagues, and encourages students to return to northeast Georgia for clinical rotations, residency training, and practicing. The opportunities offered through Pathway to Med School strengthen students' applications to medical school, increasing their likelihood of acceptance.
Pathway to Med School is a collaborative initiative made possible by a dedicated team of community partners. The Foothills Area Health Education Center (AHEC) staff work year-round with a planning committee of enthusiastic leaders in the medical and academic communities within northeast Georgia. Faculty and staff at nearby medical schools volunteer their talents to groom students for the application and matriculation processes. Primary care physicians donate their time to serve as hosts and teachers for clinical shadowing rotations. These combined efforts allow Foothills AHEC to offer the Pathway to Med School program at no cost to students.
The Pathway to Med School program is made possible by partners from: Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership, the American College of Physicians Georgia Chapter, the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, The Longstreet Clinic, Northeast Georgia Health System and Northeast Georgia Physicians Group, Northside Hospital-Gwinnett Family Medicine Residency Program, Piedmont Athens Regional Physician Group, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine's Georgia Campus, and St. Mary's Hospital's Internal Medicine Residency Program
For More Information on Pathway to Med School
For a quick reference to the Pathway to Med School program, print our informational brochure.
This brochure is a great tool for advisors of pre-med students and students considering applying to the program.
Please email the Pathway to Med School coordinator for information on the following:
submitting official transcripts
scheduling campus presentations
volunteering to serve during the program
The online application for the 2020 PTMS program will be available on December 16, 2019.
To be eligible for consideration, all complete applications must be submitted and received, along with official transcripts, by the deadline of 5:00 P.M. on February 14, 2020.