Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

The purpose and mission of the LSU Health Shreveport Area Health Education (AHEC) Program is to improve health status, increase access to care, and assure that the future and current health care workforce is properly trained and practice in medically under-served communities. This is done through community-based training, recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals and workers, developing and implementing continuing education programs to meet the needs of healthcare professionals in rural and under-served areas and to plan and respond to community health needs through population-based health system development and public education.

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Learn more about our Health Education Programs.

High School Student Programs

Day with the Doctors

A one- day experience that allows eligible juniors and seniors with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA, and who express interest in pursuing a medical career as a physician to participate.  Medical school students, physicians and staffers guide students through hospital departments demonstrating various aspects of healthcare through the eyes of a physician.  Students learn about medical problems, work with specimens and microscopic slides, learn suturing techniques, practice basic life support techniques, explore the anatomy and/or pathology labs, interact with medical students and faculty, and receive medical school admissions information and more.

For application information: Bayou North AHEC or Central AHEC

A-HEC of a Summer

This 15-day summer program allows eligible high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors an opportunity to participate in a structured, hands-on health care learning experience led by trained educators and healthcare program supervisors. Students explore healthcare career opportunities using interactive workshops, field trips, lectures and speakers while applying their science knowledge to everyday scenarios experienced in the healthcare profession. Each student who successfully completes the program receives 100 community service hours, CPR certification, and 1/2 unit of high school general elective credit as approved by the LA Department of Education. 

For application information: Bayou North AHEC or Central AHEC

Undergraduate Student Program

Rural Scholars

The Rural Scholars program targets undergraduate students from rural areas. These students represent a potential pool of medical school recruits that could significantly increase the number of rural physicians in Louisiana. The Scholars program will provide rural students an opportunity to gain a competitive edge in the medical school application process while receiving their undergraduate degrees.

For application information: Bayou North AHEC or Central AHEC

Rural Scholars group photo from October, 2019 Luncheon
Rural Scholars panel photo from October, 2019 Luncheon
Rural Scholars class photo from October, 2019 Luncheon

Medical Student Programs

Primary Care Rural Preceptorship Program (PCRPP)

The Primary Care Rural Preceptorship Program is a hands-on primary care experience designed to expose medical students to the professional, business and social aspects of practicing primary medicine in rural and/or medically underserved areas of Louisiana. It is sponsored by the AHEC Program Offices at LSU Health Shreveport. It is offered to medical students the summer after the first year of medical school.

Participants: The Primary Care Rural Preceptorship Program is offered during summer months to students who have successfully completed their first and/or second year of medical school. Third year students may participate during their vacation block and fourth year students at LSU Health Shreveport may schedule the elective throughout their academic year. This includes elective studies and the community selective. Preceptors for the program are residency-trained, board certified or eligible, primary care providers. They are eligible for faculty appointments at the LSU Health Shreveport.

Applications: Applications for the Primary Care Rural/Community Preceptorships may be obtained by contacting the AHEC Program Office at LSU Health Shreveport. The deadline for PCRPP Summer Preceptorships for MSI and MSII students is January 31. Students are notified of their acceptance and assigned locations in March and may begin their preceptorships in June. Applications for MSIII and MSIV students are taken year round, but students should apply at least six weeks before requested Block.

Preceptorships are arranged with solo practitioners, group practices and clinics that provide primary care in rural or medically under-served areas throughout Louisiana. Because of the programs popularity, interested students meeting the participation criteria should apply early in the process. Specific requests and preferences will be honored when possible. Housing arrangements vary depending on the site, but personnel are always available as resources. Student expenses may be defrayed by a per diem reimbursement.

For Application information contact the AHEC office at LSU Health Shreveport.


All LSU Health Shreveport MSIV’s are required to take 4 weeks of elective/selective rotations at off-site facilities. The AHEC Program Office at LSUHS coordinates these rotations in conjunction with the Louisiana AHEC Centers who place these students with volunteer preceptors throughout the state of Louisiana. For Application information contact the AHEC office at LSU Health Shreveport.

Primary Care Immersion

All LSU Health Shreveport first year medical students are required to participate in an immersion month of primary care rotations, coordinated by the Program Office and Central Louisiana AHEC. Rotations are scheduled at primary care physicians’ offices, public health clinics or local community social services sites within one hour travel time of the university. The freshman class receives more than 1,300 hours of immersion training as a result of this program.


AHEC Scholars is a program for health professions students interested in supplementing their education by gaining additional knowledge and experience in rural and/or under-served urban settings. This is a longitudinal program with interdisciplinary curricula to implement a defined set of clinical, didactic, and community-based activities. All experiential or clinical training will be conducted in rural and/or under-served urban settings.

Eligibility Criteria:
Students should have a current interest in rural or under-served healthcare and be currently enrolled in a health professions degree or certificate program and be two years from program or degree completion. This includes but is not limited to students in medical, dental, pharmacy, nurse practitioner, nursing, physician assistant, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and public/population health programs.

Program duration is two years and each year includes the following for a total of 160 hours:

  • 40 hours community-based, experiential, or clinical training in rural and/or under-served area
  • 40 hours didactic education (focused on six Core Topic Areas)
  • Core Topic Areas 
    o    Inter-professional Education
    o    Behavorial Health Integration
    o    Social Determinants of Health
    o    Cultural Competency
    o    Practice Transformation
    o    Current and Emerging Health Issues

Our Team

2019 AHEC Scholars Halloween Luncheon

AHEC Programs

A-HEC of a Summer Program for High School Students

AHEC Programs

Day with the Docs for High School Students

AHEC Programs

Rural Scholars for Undergrad Students

AHEC Programs

Primary Care Rural Preceptorship Program