UM Graduates Receive Rural Physicians Scholarships

Program helps students attend medical school in return for service to state

UM graduates who have received scholarships this year for medical school through the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program are (from left) Meagan Buchanan, Katelynn McGowen, Steven Smith and Jamie Riggs. Photo by Joe Ellis/UM Medical Center

JACKSON, Miss – Several graduates of the University of Mississippi have been awarded Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarships valued at $30,000 a year for their medical training. The awards were announced at an annual scholarship ceremony in Jackson.

Meagan Buchanan

The Ole Miss graduates receiving scholarships are:

  • Meagan Buchanan, of Collinsville – UM School of Medicine
  • Katelynn McGowen, of Moselle – UM School of Medicine
  • Jamie Riggs, of Lexington – William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Steven Smith, of Terry – William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Katelynn McGowen

Created in 2007, the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program is designed to provide more primary care physicians in rural areas of the state. During medical school, each MRPSP scholar receives $30,000 per year based on available funding.

Consistent legislative support of the program translates to 61 medical students receiving a total of $1.83 million to support their education this fall. Besides the legislative support, three privately funded scholarships are also awarded this year from the Madison Charitable Foundation, the Selby and Richard McRae Foundation and the Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi.

Jamie Riggs

Other benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural physicians and academic support. 

Upon completion of medical school, MRPSP scholars must enter a residency program in one of five primary care specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics, medicine-pediatrics, or obstetrics/gynecology. The scholar must provide four years of service in a clinic-based practice in an approved Mississippi community of 15,000 or fewer population located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.

Steven Smith

MRPSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school, earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship in return for four years of service, and learn the art of healing from practicing rural physicians.

For more information, contact MRPSP Associate Director Steven Carter at 601-815-9022, or