Southwest Missouri Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

Core Site assignments are for year three only. Clerkship placement during year four is based solely on the site’s availability and approval. Students must follow the scheduling protocols outlined by the location and the Clinical Education Guidelines.

The Southwest Missouri Area Health Education Center (SWMO AHEC) is one of seven centers in Missouri and is hosted by Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. The Missouri AHEC network is a federal, state and local partnership that promotes health care careers through recruitment, clinical training, education, community resources and collaboration. The MAHEC mission and objectives align with federal AHEC requirements: to enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventative care, by growing and supporting Missouri's health care workforce.

The SWMO AHEC provides service to a 21-county area in southwest Missouri. Clerkship opportunities are preceptor-based, not hospital- or system-based. Although the majority of rotations may occur in or around the Springfield area, students can expect to be assigned to any of the hospitals or clinics in the region for a given rotation.

Medical students paired with SWMO as a core site have the opportunity to volunteer to assist with workshops for the high school AHEC Career Enhancement Scholars (ACES) program, designed to increase awareness of the medical profession to students. Workshops include dissections, suturing, phlebotomy, injections, infectious disease, nutrition, vital signs, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, etc. Medical students may also act as mentors for ACES students, helping them.

Research opportunities are also available for Core and AHEC Scholars Students. Projects vary throughout the year, however, options exist with Missouri State University, Cox Health and Mercy Hospital systems. The AHEC Scholars program is a new, federally funded program providing didactic and clinical experience for health profession students already enrolled in their field of study. With an Inter Professional Experience (IPE) focus, students participating may be current medical, nursing, physician assistant, dietetics, radiology, pharmacy, occupations/physical/speech therapy, etc., students. These students learn medicine and continuity of care by working together as they will in future everyday practice.


Citizens Memorial Hospital

1500 N Oakland
Bolivar, MO 65613

Cox North Hospital

1423 N Jefferson Ave
Springfield, MO 65802

Cox Medical Center South

3801 S National
Springfield, MO 65807

Cox Medical Center Branson

525 Branson Landing Blvd
Branson, MO 65616

Cox Monett Hospital

801 N Lincoln
Monett, MO 64708

Mercy Hospital Cassville

94 Main Street
Cassville, MO 65625

Mercy Hospital Aurora

500 Porter Ave
Aurora, MO 65605

Mercy Hospital Springfield

1235 E Cherokee Street
Springfield, MO 65804

Ozarks Community Health System

2828 N National Ave
Springfield, MO 65803

Southwest Missouri AHEC

c/o Missouri State University
901 S National
Springfield, MO 65897

Site Focus

  • Primary Care

School Affiliations

  • AT Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • KCU College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hospital Statistics 

    Cox Health Springfield

  • Total Beds - 992
  • Admissions - 250, 918 (ER, Urgent Care, Trauma)
  • ER Visits - not provided
  • Outpatient Visits - 1,253,344
  • Births - 4,460
  • Surgeries - 36,957 (Inpatient and Outpatient)
  • Trauma Center - Level I
  • DOs on Staff - 106
  • MDs on Staff - 518

     Mercy Springfield

  • Total Beds - 877
  • Admissions - not provided
  • ER Visits - 82,177
  • Outpatient Visits - not provided
  • Births - 2,885
  • Surgeries - 35,660 (Inpatient and Outpatient)
  • Trauma Center - Level I
  • Physicians on Staff - 653 (DOs and MDs)

Third-Year Clerkships 

  • Behavioral Health (4 weeks) - Outpatient
  • Child and Adolescent Health (4 weeks) - Inpatient/Outpatient
  • Family Medicine (4 weeks) - Inpatient/Outpatient
  • Internal Medicine (8 weeks) - Inpatient/Outpatient
  • Surgery (8 weeks) - Inpatient/Outpatient
  • Women's Health (4 weeks) - Inpatient/Outpatient

This site schedules clinical experiences in four-week increments.

Third-Year Selectives

  • These are clinical experiences completed in addition to the third-year core clerkships.  The student may have some ability to choose from a list of available selective clerkships.  The Core Site determines the selective clerkships available based on the resources at the Core SiteIf applicable, selective opportunities will be communicated to students at the core site’s discretion after the match.

  • Selective clerkship opportunities are not available away from the Core Site during the third year.  Exceptions to this policy may occur for students officially enrolled in the Military and Global Health Tracks or completing third-year selective(s) away from the Core Site as part of the Specialty Track requirements.

Residency Information 

  • Cox Family Practice Residency
  • Freeman Health System
    • ENT/Otolaryngology
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Family Medicine
    • Internal Medicine
    • Psychiatry

Resources & Benefits 

  • Facility Resources: Students have access to a call room, classroom with video conference capability, computers, dining room, internet, medical library, phones, printers, secured storage area, shower, study space and WiFi while on duty at the hospital
  • Meal Benefits: Snacks provided at Cox Family Medicine Residency and Cox South; meals provided at Mercy Joplin while on duty
  • Visiting Student Housing: Housing for third-year and fourth-year students varies by location and is available in Cassville, Monett and Mercy Joplin, at cost to student

Duties & Opportunities 

  • Student Duties: Students are required to participate in weekly rounds, night call, weekend call and weekend rounds as assigned by the preceptor or service
  • Didactic Opportunities: Students are required to participate as assigned by the preceptor or service
  • OMT/OPP Opportunities: Opportunities for skill development in OMT/OPP varies by the preceptor assignment
  • Other: Students have the opportunity to participate in the AHEC Scholars Program - more information is available upon request

Unique Site Characteristics

  • Background check and drug screen required third year only
  • BLS and ACLS certifications must be current
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) required prior to first clerkship
  • Global Track and Military Track students must communicate third-year clerkship obligations to site as soon as the Clerkship Match Process is finalized
  • Most clerkships are one-on-one and transitioning to include Inter Professional Education
  • Orientation provided prior to the first clerkship
  • TB screening required annually (only blood test accepted)
Once the Clerkship Site Match is finalized for your class, KCU Clinical Education will notify students when contacting clerkship sites directly is permitted.  

Contact Information 

  • Contact Clinical Education
  • Core Site Contact: Trisha Bradley, MPH, CGW
  • Executive Director: Trisha Bradley, MPH, CGW
Additions or changes to this site's information may occur at any time - information last updated 10.27.2022