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Rural Access to Anesthesia Care Scholarship

The American Society of Anesthesiologists sponsors a scholarship for medical students introducing future physicians to rural anesthesia. Medical students can apply for scholarships valued up to $750 to pay for travel and lodging expenses for a rural clerkship.

Around 25 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, but only 12.5 percent of surgeons practice in those areas. It is estimated that less than 5 percent of the total number of active anesthesiologists practice in rural areas.

As described by the United States Census Bureau, "rural areas comprise open country and settlements with fewer than 2,500 residents; areas designated as rural can have population densities as high as 999 per square mile or as low as one person per square mile."


Applicants must be a third or fourth year medical student in an approved U.S. program and a medical student member of the ASA ($10 annual fee). An ASA member mentor must oversee the medical student's activities during the rotation.

Here are our available mentors at this time. Please click on any name to send an email to discuss your interest in the rural scholarship. After speaking with the mentor, follow the steps to submit an application.

Northern Minnesota:  Dr. Mark W. Gujer

Billings, Montana:  Dr. Gary Mermel

Plattsburgh, New York:  Dr. Wally Good

Eastern South Dakota:  Dr. Jeffrey O. Bergsbaken

Vermont:  Dr. Bill Roberts

Cody, Wyoming: Dr. Catherine C. Schmidt

If you are interested in applying but not sure of a rural area or a mentor, the ASA can help. Contact the ASA Medical Student Component at or (847) 825-5586 for assistance in identifying a rural area and mentor.

Application Steps

Fill out the scholarship application and submit along with a 250 word essay explaining why you are interested in the Rural Anesthesia Grant Program to the ASA Medical Student Component, 1061 American Lane, Schaumburg, IL 60173 or fax to (847) 825-1692.

Applications may be submitted four times each year based on this schedule.

By January 1 for a March 1 or later start of rotation

By April 1 for a June 1 or later start of rotation

By July 1 for a September 1 or later start of rotation

By October 1 for a December 1 or later start of rotation

The application will be forwarded to the Committee on Rural Access to Anesthesia Care for review and a final decision. The committee will notify the applicant of its decision by 30 days before the rotation starts.

Distribution of Funds

Approved applicants will receive an initial stipend of $250 at the time of acceptance. The balance of the grant, up to $500, will be paid when expenses including receipts are submitted, the student and mentor evaluation forms, along with the medical school registrar proof of completion have been received by the ASA.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know if my rotation hospital is considered rural and qualifies for the program?
  • Contact the ASA Medical Student Component at or (847) 825-5586 to find out if your hospital is in a rural area and qualifies for the program.
  • Will my participation in this program count toward my medical school’s requirements for training and graduation?
  • The ASA is not involved in the decision whether this program will count toward graduation. Please contact your medical school.
  • What if my expenses exceed $750 during my rotation due to travel or living expenses?
  • The maximum grant for this ASA sponsored grant is $750. We encourage you to check with the sponsoring program for other possible support (funds, housing etc.) that may be available.
  • Once my application is approved, how soon will I receive the funds so I can make my travel plans and other arrangements?
  • The $250 initial check will be mailed to you within 5-7 business days after the committee has notified ASA of your acceptance.
  • Will the ASA provide me with something that shows I have successfully completed this program?

The ASA Committee on Rural Access to Anesthesia Care will send you a letter of completion to use as documentation for your medical school and to include in your curriculum vitae.

FAER Medical Student Anesthesia Research Fellowship

The Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) created the Medical Student Anesthesia Research Fellowship (MSARF) to encourage talented medical students to consider careers in anesthesiology research and perioperative medicine. The MSARF program offers medical students an 8-12 week anesthesia-related research experience and the opportunity to present research findings at the American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting. Please visit for more information