Robert Tatum Jr. chases dream of becoming a rural physician in the Rural Physician Scholarship Program

Robert Tatum Jr. is one of many Alcorn State University students who are using their summer vacation to prepare for their futures.

Robert, a Madison, Mississippi native and junior, was accepted into the Rural Physician Scholarship Program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

The Program identifies college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well trained rural primary care physicians in the state of Mississippi. Upon completion of all medical school admissions requirements, the student can be admitted to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine or William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Being accepted into the scholarship program is a huge step in Robert’s journey to becoming a rural physician. He’s grateful for the opportunity, and looks forward to acquiring the knowledge necessary for success.

“I hope to become more in tune with the primary care field,” said Robert. “My love for Mississippi and medicine really inspired my decision to apply for this program. I am ecstatic to have been chosen for such a humbling and meaningful program. When I received my acceptance letter, I felt that I had moved 1,000 miles closer to my goal.”

Growing up, Robert watched his father, who is a rural physician, as he dedicated himself to his practice and ensuring quality health for people in the community. He credits his father for showing him the keys to success as a physician.

“His tireless dedication to his practice and people gave me inspiration in choosing medicine as my career path. My visual of him working in a rural area motivated me to also aspire to work in a rural area.”

Robert’s main goal is to help as many people as possible.

“My main focus is to own a private practice that focuses on pediatrics, internal medicine or family medicine in a rural area. Many people don’t realize the importance that a medical doctor can have in a community, especially a rural community. Becoming a physician is an honorable experience, and I hope to make my family and Alcorn proud.”

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