The UT AHEC program was established to provide community-based, one-on-one clerkships with practicing physicians, traditionally in rural or non-urban settings. The AHEC mission includes emphasis on educational experiences with underserved or underrepresented populations and in medically underserved areas.
Eight weeks of AHEC education are required for graduation. Students may complete this requirement by taking two or more AHECs in their 3rd year, in addition to any of several elective AHECs in the 3rd and 4th year. Clerkships are available in all of the required third year courses as well as a variety of specialty and sub-specialty departments for electives. The AHEC scheduling requests are handled through the UT AHEC office.
The UT AHEC program is organized through three regional centers, staffed with local health and educational professionals who recruit preceptors, place students, and manage the arrangements of the clerkship, to include housing and orientation to the community and the clerkship site. The regional centers each cover a designated geographic area maintaining relationships within the community of physicians and hospitals in order that clerkships include a positive atmosphere for students.
The centers are Bryan Area Health Education Center (BAHEC), Lima Area Health Education Center (LAHEC), and Sandusky Area Health Education Center (SAHEC). Each center maintains computer connection (located in certain hospital libraries) to the Mulford Library to enable students convenient access to learning resources during their AHEC clerkship. In addition, many required or suggested textbooks are available for borrowing.
A Metro AHEC Program has also been established for clinical education for both medical and physician assistant students at the Mercy Family Practice Center in Toledo, and is an alternative means to fulfill the AHEC graduation requirement. An Urban AHEC is a desirable complement to the existing AHEC program as it offers another setting in which to accomplish the AHEC mission and goals.
AHEC preceptors hold volunteer faculty appointments in the respective UT clinical departments. AHEC preceptors have a demonstrated commitment to teaching, providing the student an enriching educational experience and sharing the satisfaction of professional practice in smaller communities.
Contact the UT AHEC Office at (419) 383-4272 for additional information.