Attracting medical students to practice in rural communities is a perennial challenge. Programs such as the Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative and AHEC Scholars help to support students who are committed to rural practice. But what about students who don’t know about rural practice or haven’t considered it? How can these students learn about rural medicine to find out if it might be right for them?
The OHSU School of Medicine’s Rural Medicine Discovery Program is one way to help address this need. A brainchild of medical students who grew up in rural Oregon, the RMD Program aims to show students that rural Oregon communities are great places to live, work and play. The program targets medical students at an early stage in their education, before they have chosen where to go for clinical rotations later in their training. While every OHSU medical student must complete at least one month of training in a rural setting, this program aims to inspire students to choose more rural clinical experiences and potentially lead to more graduates launching their careers in rural communities.