Training Rural Doctors for Rural People

Become a Rural Training Site

The Need for Rural Hospital & Clinic Training Sites

Rural hospitals and clinics are strategically positioned to train residents for the vital role of rural primary care physician in the specialties of family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, and psychiatry. Rural graduate medical education (GME) exposes doctors to rural hospitals, clinics, communities, and their culture increasing the likelihood that they will ultimately choose to practice in a similar setting. By offering high-quality, broad spectrum, apprenticeship model training, rural hospitals and clinics provide an educational experience that prepares doctors for the unique and rewarding practice of rural medicine.

Causes for increased need of rural physicians:

  • 25% of the population lives in rural areas, while only 10% of the physicians practice there
  • Increased access to healthcare due to the Affordable Care Act
  • Physician population is aging and retiring
  • General population is aging resulting in higher healthcare demands
  • Low percentage of medical students choose primary care
  • By 2019 Wisconsin will graduate about 75 rural/community interest medical students per year with only 10 projected rural training track slots available

For more information about the need for physicians in Wisconsin see the WHA 100 New Physicians report.

Learn about current rural hospital and clinic training opportunities here.

First steps to starting a rural training program here.

Benefits of Training Residents

  • Opportunity to “grow your own” practice partners
  • Save on recruitment and onboarding costs
  • Attract and retain physicians who have a heart for teaching
  • Advance medical staff as learners challenge and stimulate best practice
  • Increase patient access and specialist referrals
  • Access faculty development and staff education opportunities
  • Elevate organizational image as an educational institute
  • Invest community in training future doctors
  • Benefit from residents participating in community learning and leadership projects

First Steps – Becoming a Rural Training Site

Contact WCRGME to set up an Initial Assessment of the resident training opportunities at your Wisconsin rural hospital or clinic. These services are grant funded by WRPRAP so there is currently no cost for these services.

What is involved in the Initial Assessment?

The initial assessment involves a 45-60 minute visit to your location to meet with whomever is championing the investigation of resident teaching. This may be an administrator or physician or both and may include others who have a vested interest. It is highly recommended that this be an on-site visit; however, the alternative is to meet by teleconference.

Initial Assessment topics include:

  • Interest level in teaching residents
  • Past history in medical education
  • Types and volumes of medical services provided
  • Questions/Concerns about teaching residents

Future Steps – Becoming a Rural Training Site

Click here to learn of other technical assistance provided by WCRGME beyond the Initial Assessment.