COLUMBUS, Miss. — Anna Watson has always dreamed of opening her own practice, and now she is closer to that reality upon entering the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program.
Watson is from Amory and is currently a sophomore biology major at Mississippi University for Women.
The Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program, hosted at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, is for students who are interested in becoming physicians in rural areas. Only 18 undergraduates are accepted into the highly competitive program.
After a lengthy application and interview process, students can be accepted into the program after they graduate, or they can be accepted in the spring semester of their sophomore year. If they are accepted as sophomores, they are given MCAT prep, shadowing opportunities, rural clinical experiences and funding to assist them in medical school.
Over the past few months, Watson has worked hard to keep her grades up. Her family has a history in the medical profession, and Watson planned from the start to follow in their footsteps.
“My father is a nurse practitioner, and my mom is a pharmacist. I always knew I would go into medicine, and I hope to open my own practice locally, one day,” she said.
Dr. Dionne Fortenberry, chair of the Department of Sciences and Mathematics, said they were proud of Watson.
“Her acceptance into this competitive program speaks to the quality of her MUW education. This is a great accomplishment for one of our undergraduates, and we hope to have more of our students follow in Anna’s footsteps.”
The Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program is led by Wahnee Sherman, executive director, who once worked at The W in student affairs.
“We are thrilled to have Anna Watson join the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program,” Sherman said. “While there are other MUW alums who have been part of the program, Anna is the first current MUW student to be accepted into the program at the undergraduate level.
“We applaud the work she has done so far in her undergraduate career, and we look forward to helping her be successful in applying for medical school and then eventually becoming a primary care physician in a rural area of Mississippi.”