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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

Program Components
Program Components

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).

Clinical Shadowing

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.


Community-Based Research

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:

  • campus tour

  • faculty lecture

  • info session with faculty/admission representatives

  • Q&A session with current students

  • MCAT prep

  • interview skills

  • attending a class/lab

  • essay preparation


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.

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Eligibility Requirements
Eligibility Requirements


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

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Foothills AHEC northeast Georgia Service Region

Foothills AHEC Service Region

Preference will be given to students from the 31 counties served by Foothills AHEC.

Application Deadlines
Program Dates

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.

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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
Primary Care Focus
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?

  • Family Medicine

  • Internal Medicine

  • Pediatric Medicine

  • 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.

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Program Partners
Program Partners

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

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For More Info
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:

  • eligibility requirements

  • program components

  • 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.

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