Boston University Area Health Education Center (BUAHEC)

The central goals of the Boston University AHEC are to foster an interest in primary care careers for medical students and residents, and to support the practice and teaching of primary care medicine in the community.

Since its establishment in 1978, the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) AHEC Program Office has:
  • Enhanced and expanded the training of medical students in community-based practices;
  • Developed numerous office practices of family physicians as teaching sites;
  • Built the framework for the Department of Family Medicine at BUSM; and
  • Promoted student interest in primary care.

The Boston University Area Health Education Center Program Office sponsors programs throughout the year.

Cooperative Mentorship Program
The BUAHEC Program Office coordinates clinical assignments in family medicine for  Boston
area medical students.

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians and administered by the BUAHEC, the Family Medicine Mentorship Program matches more than 100 first-and second-year students with family physician mentors in Greater Boston for required courses at Tufts and Boston University and an elective experience at Harvard.

Summer Externship Program
The BUAHEC helps design and run the Summer Externship program for medical students who have completed their first year at Tufts and Boston University medical schools. This program places students directly in primary care doctor’s offices for five to six weeks. The Summer Externship operates nationwide, and is coordinated by online discussion groups and assignments directed by medical school faculty.

Primary Care Student Groups
The BUAHEC works with student organizations at BUSM to encourage interest in careers in primary care medicine. The office supports interest groups in Pediatrics, General Internal Medicine, and Family Medicine by running clinical skills workshops and sponsoring guest speakers.

Health Careers Courses
The BUAHEC works with medical school faculty and students to develop and run courses for the Boston AHEC Youth to Health Careers program for minority high school youth in Boston.

Development of Primary Care Teaching Sites
The BUAHEC develops and supports a network of primary care teaching sites north of
Boston, in Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod to support the BUSM Family Medicine Clerkship and the Summer Externship Programs.


BUSM/AHEC community-based clerkships included:

58 first-year students in Community Health Centers (CHCs), MUAs, or Boston Medical Center (BMC) outpatient clinics which serve uninsured /underinsured patients;

50 second-year students in CHCs, MUAs or BMC outpatient clinics;

A third year pediatric clerkship for 70 students at BMC, MUAs and CHCs;

A third year family medicine clerkship for 34 students at CMS and MPCA.

Developed "The Learning Contract" during FY04 which was given to 25 community preceptors in March 2005.

In FY05 154 students participated in an OSCE for Spanish-speaking patients and an interpreter.