Program finds students with rural ties for medical school

PONCA, Neb. (AP) - A special Nebraska program continues to give high school students from rural areas a shot at medical school in the hope they will return home.

Natalie Leader graduated from the Rural Health Opportunities Program a few years ago and now owns her own dental practice in Ponca.

The Sioux City Journal reports Leader grew up in Wayne and was attracted to the program that offers a full scholarship for undergraduate work and early admission to medical school.

Leader says she couldn’t imagine living and working in a big city.

The program began in 1990. Since then 420 students have graduated and 65 percent of those are practicing medicine in Nebraska. Students aren’t obligated to work in rural areas but many do.

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