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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. Who should apply to the PSAP?
A. Applicants who have grown up in (or spent a substantial part of their life in) a rural area or small town, AND who are committed to practice in a rural area or small town (not necessarily their home town), should apply to the PSAP. Highest priority will be given to those planning a career in family medicine.

Q. What is family practice?
A. Family practice continues to be one of the more popular medical specialties, with almost 10% of medical school graduates nationally entering the field. Family physicians provide comprehensive and continuing care for people of all ages, caring for most types of medical problems. And family medicine is a specialty that emphasizes forming long-term relationships with patients and their families, and providing high quality and personal care.

Q. What if I plan to practice another specialty, or am unsure of my future specialty?
A. Although applicants planning family medicine are given the highest priority for the PSAP, many rural communities also have a shortage of other physicians, especially other general physicians (e.g., general internal medicine, general pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, emergency medicine). As a result, applicants planning any specialty, or those unsure of their future specialty, will also be given consideration for the PSAP.

Q. What are the benefits, requirements, and expectations of the PSAP?
A. Students who matriculate into Jefferson's PSAP are required to take the PSAP curriculum during medical school. This includes:

  • Having a medical school faculty advisor from the Department of Family and Community Medicine.
  • Having a 'Big Sib' (sophomore medical student) from the PSAP.
  • Having the opportunity for a family physician advisor serve as their clinical mentor during their first year longitudinal clinical experience.
  • The opportunity to do paid summer research in family medicine during the summer after their first year of medical school.
  • Taking at least one of their 3rd year required clinical clerkships at an affiliated hospital in a smaller community located outside of the Philadelphia metropolitan area (currently this means taking their 3rd year 6-week required Family Medicine Clerkship at Latrobe Area Hospital, or the family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, or obstetrics / gynecology clerkships at York Hospital).
  • Having priority for taking their 4th year four-week Outpatient Subinternship in family medicine at a private office preceptorship in a rural area. PSAP students are encouraged to take at least one of their four-week senior rotations or electives in a rural area or small town (e.g., on an American Indian reservation).

After medical school, PSAP graduates take a residency of their choice (participating in the national residency match process with all other medical students), and are expected to practice in a rural area or small town, preferably in Pennsylvania or Delaware, for their professional career.

Q. How to apply to the PSAP?
A. Applicants to Jefferson who want to apply to the PSAP should indicate so on the PSAP question of the Jefferson Secondary Application Form. In addition, the PSAP application should also be completed by November 15th. This application form includes a list of Pennsylvania and Delaware counties that contain underserved rural areas and small towns, although students from similar areas in other Pennsylvania and Delaware counties, and from other states are also invited to apply to the program.

Pennsylvania and Delaware residents are given priority for the program. In addition, students from the seven undergraduate institutions in Pennsylvania and Delaware that are part of the PSAP Cooperative Program - Allegheny College, Bucknell University, Franklin & Marshall College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Delaware, and the University of Scranton - are also given priority for the PSAP.

Contact Info

Department of
Family & Community Medicine

1015 Walnut Street
Suite 401
Philadelphia, PA 19107


Howard K. Rabinowitz, MD
Director, PSAP
(215) 955-7416

Fred W. Markham, MD
Associate Director, PSAP
(215) 955-2350

Katherine Paul, MPH
Education Coordinator
(215) 955-2362

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