U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Health Resources and Services Administration About NHSC Join Us Get Started Members Resources News Applications Publications Links Find Job Opportunities  HRSA  Bureau of Health Professions  Home  Search  Site Map  Contact
National Health Services Corps

Join Us

America's Health Care Hereos


Student/Resident Experiences And Rotations in Community Health (SEARCH)

The SEARCH program provides health professions students and residents with opportunities to work on interdisciplinary health care teams. Currently, 21 states and U.S. territories offer SEARCH programs, extending a unique, hands-on, primary care training experience working with people in underserved rural and urban areas. Applicants who qualify for the program will be placed in a community where they can make a difference through NHSC's network of primary care associations and primary care offices.

Benefits for students and residents:

  • Training in culturally diverse community-based systems of care
  • Working with patients and communities to help them reach beneficial health decisions
  • Learning about culturally competent, community-responsive health care
  • Gaining skills in delivering primary health care services by working with mentors

Benefits for communities:

  • Gaining access to academic resources
  • Networking with State and regional organizations
  • Assistance to develop and perform health promotion and disease prevention activities
  • Recruitment of future health care clinicians
  • Preceptorship opportunities for medical staff

Sites are located in rural and urban communities across the country; 90 percent of sites are in health professional shortage or medically underserved areas. Length of placement and stipend policies vary, depending on the State or regional sponsoring organization.


To qualify for the SEARCH program, you must have started your training as a physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, certified nurse-midwife, dentist, dental hygienist, or mental and behavioral health professionals, including health service psychologist, clinical social worker, licensed professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, and psychiatric nurse specialist. Students who have NHSC scholarships are given priority for the SEARCH program.

View the list of participating States or call 301-594-4165 for more information.

If you are a clinician and would be interested in serving as a preceptor or mentor, please View the list of participating States and contact the person listed to find out more.

Success Stories


New Director Empowers Montana's NHSC SEARCH Program

Paula Clifford began her administration of the Montana Student/Resident Experiences and Rotations in Community Health (SEARCH) program by traveling to most of the clinics and hospitals that provide primary care in Montana. “I was impressed with how modern so many of the facilities were, despite limited funding,” she says, “as well as with the great distances between them and the nearest major medical center.”

Read more

Health Resources and Services Administration U.S. Department of Health and Human Services