School of Medicine

Department of Family Medicine

Primary Care Programs

The Primary Care Programs at LSUHSC School of Medicine-New Orleans are designed to foster an interest in primary care by engaging medical students in a variety of programs and curriculum options that offer exposure to and experience in a full spectrum of primary care medical practice models.

The Primary Care Programs are comprised of longitudinal curricular elements and two scholarship programs that each provide a tuition exemption in return for a contractual commitment to practice primary care in Louisiana after graduation (see links below). In addition, the Primary Care Programs offer a variety of elective and volunteer components within the 4-year longitudinal medical school curriculum including:

  • Assignment to primary care faculty mentors.
  • Selected curricular sessions on topics such as comprehensive care, continuity of care, community orientation, preventive medicine, evidence-based practice, and loan forgiveness that prepare students specifically for primary care.
  • Participation in student specialty interest groups and activities that focus on primary care, such as the Student-Run Free Clinic Program, Rural Medicine Interest Group, Family Medicine Interest Group, Edgar Hull Society Internal Medicine Interest Group, Pediatric Interest Group, OB/GYN Interest Group, Medicine & Pediatric Interest Group, and the New Orleans Adolescent Reproductive Health Project (NOARHP).
  • Priority participation in a summer clinical preceptorship program between the L1 and L2 years sponsored by AHEC in which students are paired with community primary care physicians for part of the summer.
  • Priority enrollment in elective courses designed to support primary care, such as the L2 Primary Care Elective, Nutrition and Health and Global Health and Social Medicine.
  • Participation in journal clubs, conferences, workshops and extracurricular sessions sponsored by the various primary care specialties and clinical departments, such as the Rural Scholar Symposia, an annual Procedures Workshop, and various primary care based research experiences.
  • A Longitudinal Primary Care Preceptorship program that provides a unique continuity of care experience during the L3 and/or L4 years.

Primary Care Curriculum

  • A longitudinal medical school curriculum for those interested in rural, urban or suburban primary care practice in family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, general medicine-pediatrics, general obstetrics-gynecology, or geriatrics.
  • Students choose to participate in unique primary care focused curricular and extracurricular experiences, including all program elements described above.
  • No tuition waiver.
  • No primary care service commitment after graduation.
  • Students join an interest group in one of the eligible primary care specialties listed above.
  • In the L3 year, students can attend one half-day per week in a longitudinal preceptorship with a physician who is based in a primary care setting. Half days are flexible from week to week depending on individual clerkship schedules.
  • Primary Care students may choose to do their clinical years at the Baton Rouge Branch Campus or the main campus in New Orleans. Baton Rouge Branch Campus students complete all of their third year clerkships in Baton Rouge and may do “away” rotations anywhere during their fourth year, including rotations out-of-state. New Orleans students enter the clerkship lottery and may preferentially receive assignments in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Bogalusa or Lake Charles if desired.
  • Students complete their Family Medicine clerkship at a rural, urban or suburban site, depending on their individual interests within primary care.

How to apply

  • Students interested in the Primary Care Programs need to indicate their interest by sending an email to
  • Students interested in a Rural Scholar or Primary Care Scholar position must complete a separate application and interview. Interviews for scholar slots occur on a rolling basis, and are not conducted until after a student has been offered admission to the LSUHSC School of Medicine.

If you have questions about the programs, or wish to request an application for one of the Primary Care Programs, please contact our office at


New Orleans

2021 Perdido Street
CALS 4th Floor, Suite 4354
New Orleans, LA 70112

Paula Rhode Brantley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director of Primary Care Programs
Paula Brantley

Nicole L. Matherne

Primary Care Coordinator 
(504) 568-6098

Nicole Matherne