The Undergraduate Rural Medicine Education and Development (URMED) program has selected two students for its January 2014 scholars program, and on Monday, Jan. 6, they participated in a white coat ceremony and began their three-week internship.

The students selected for the January 2014 URMED internship are Natalie Bellairs, a junior biology major from Osage and Amber Riedy, a senior biology and chemistry major from Grand Island, Neb.

The URMED program was developed six years ago through a partnership with BVU and Buena Vista Regional Medical Center (BVRMC). The URMED internship is awarded to select BVU pre-med students who have an interest in practicing rural medicine. During their internship, the students are introduced to a variety of clinical and healthcare practices at BVRMC and hospitals in Humboldt, Sac City, and Pocahontas. The URMED scholar recipients are also each given a $3,000 stipend provided by BVU and the participating hospitals to help them cover the costs of applying to medical school.

To date, 12 BVU graduates have completed the URMED program, with 11 of them going on to medical school and one to nursing school.