The Area Health Education Center of Southwest Oregon (AHECSW) has a variety of programs with different levels of engagement that will fit a variety of student interests and needs. Our programs will help students expand their knowledge on opportunities in healthcare and connect them to professionals working in the healthcare field. Please feel free to explore our programs and connect with us to get involved in an opportunity that is the right fit for you. 

ReConnect Gap-Year Fellowship

AHECSW is beta testing a new name branding for one of its programs. Previously known as the ReConnect Scribe Program, will now be named ReConnect Gap-Year Fellowship. This name change is in response to a false lens that the program is being viewed. There has been a stigma that the ReConnect program is a competing scribe workforce recruiting company. While these programs are essential, they focus on the demand side of the healthcare workforce. The ReConnect Gap-Year Fellowship program is, in fact, a workforce supply program that fits into the overall pipeline of all statewide AHEC programs. The objective of the ReConnect Gap-Year Fellowship is to help influence pre-health students to come back to a rural area after medical school to practice medicine. Another objective is to encourage rural clinics to pre-recruit students before they move on to medical school. The program aims to allow pre-health students to gain experience and empathize with an underserved population in a rural clinic while receiving a paycheck. The program targets students who are in their gap year(s) just after graduating from premedical school and while applying for graduate medical school. Another purpose of the program is to create a cohort of students in a similar place in life. This cohort concept allows ReConnects to share experiences, study their MCATs together, as well as hang-out as a community. Also, the ReConnect Gap-Year Fellowship offers community outreach and professional learning opportunities, mentoring, committee involvement, book clubs, as well as interview training, and medical school application counsel, to name a few.

In choosing the new name, ReConnect Gap-Year Fellowship, we felt it better captures the essence of what our program is all about. And that is, to do our very best to help the strongest candidates for rural healthcare, matriculate back to a rural area to practice medicine through experiences and education.

Where does the ReConnect Gap-Year Fellowship fit in the overall AHEC pipeline?

AHEC high school programs -> Undergraduate premedical school (and rural health clubs ) -> ReConnect Gap-Year Fellowship -> Medical Graduate AHEC Scholar Program -> Residency Program

*highlighted and underlined above are the programs AHECSW is involved with


Below is a bit of the data from the program thus far:

  • Program founded in Summer 2016

  • 4 cohorts of scribes have been introduced each summer, plus one “off-cycle” cohort in January of 2019

  • 15 total ReConnect participants to date

    • 1 ReConnect is in first year practicing as a Physician Assistant (in Roseburg, Oregon)

    • 6 ReConnects currently in medical school

      • 1 at OHSU (MD)

      • 1 at Rocky Vista (DO)

      • 4 at COMPNW (DO)

      • Of the 6 medical students, 3 students are in Year 1 and 3 students are in Year 2

    • 6 ReConnects currently scribing at Aviva in Roseburg, Oregon

      • Current scribing ReConnects are actively applying to medical school

      • Of the 6 current scribing ReConnects

      • 2 are currently accepted and will begin medical school in Summer 2020

      • 2 have interviewed and are awaiting acceptance notifications

      • 2 are currently working on improving MCAT scores and preparing medical school applications

    • 2 ReConnects have left the program prior to applying to medical school

      • 1 left to complete additonal Bachelor's coursework needed to improve application need to improve application

      • 1 left to pursue an overseas internship in the medical field

      • Both indicate that they plan to apply for medical school upon completing the above activities

    • One ReConnect has received the SHOI scholarship for OHSU PA School, an additional ReConnect accepted to OHSU medical school has applied for the SHOI (pending results)

      Data Points:

      • 100% of ReConnects who have applied to medical school have received interviews (11/11)

      • 81% of ReConnects who have applied to medical school have been accepted (9/11)

        • 2 ReConnects have interviewed and are awaiting acceptance notifications

      Please contact Chris Guastaferro, Executive Director, for questions concerning AHECSW programs at