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Academic support for rural practice: the role of area health education centers in the school of medicine

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Abstract

An area health education center (AHEC) program offers a school of medicine a special way to improve the environment for professional practice in rural areas. An AHEC is a regional center for education and training that houses faculty and staff who teach students and residents while providing continuing education, consultation, and technical assistance for rural practices. With the support of outreach library services and visits by university-based faculty, AHECs help improve a rural community's ability to recruit, retain, and keep up-to-date primary care physicians and other health manpower.

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