Rural Health Curriculum Components

In the Rural Health Professions program, RPHARM and RMED students meet together in the same classroom or location with the same faculty to participate in a curriculum that provides education and insights about rural healthcare issues.  In addition, pharmacy and medical students learn about each others' profession and how they can work together, as well as with other health professions.  The goal is for rural students to develop an interprofessional approach and be excellent health care providers to patients and communities in rural areas.     

For RMED students, the rural health professions curriculum is an add-on curriculum.  In addition to the traditional medical school curriculum, RMED students also take one additional course during each year of medical school.

For RPHARM students, the rural health professions curriculum can be used towards their required pharmacy electives. 

Year 1
Foundations in
Rural Family and Community
Healthcare I & II
Concepts of population based healthcare, agricultural hazards and farm safety, health resources development, rural mental health, rural community based research, rural leadership and negotiation skills New student orientation; seminars; small group discussions; immersion field trips; optional rural health conferences; shadow a rural physician or pharmacist and accompanying reflective assignment; required readings and reflective assignments · 2-day orientation
· 7-9 monthly seminars (3 hours)
· 2 field trips (1-2 days in length)
· 1 conference (optional)

Year 2
Foundations in Rural Family and Community Healthcare III & IV
Application of rural community health concepts including primary care/family healthcare, introduction to clinical aspects of rural healthcare delivery (i.e. specific disease states and/or healthcare issues especially those related to psychosocial and behavioral dimensions), continued exploration of clinical research concepts in rural communities, introduction to collaborative team approached to healthcare Seminars; small group discussions; rural health conferences; immersion field trips; optional rural health conferences; group presentation of annotated bibliography on a rural health topic; shadow a rural nurse practitioner or physician assistant and accompanying reflective assignment; selected required reading and written reflective assignments · 9 monthly seminars (3 hours)
· 3 field trips (1 day in length)
· 1 conference (optional)
Year 3
Interface Between Family Medicine and the Community
Application of clinical research concepts and skills, ethics in rural healthcare, multidisciplinary practitioner perspectives, continued exploration of community-based healthcare concepts Seminars; clinical case discussions; community health survey; a windshield analysis; Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) or DNP Project design development; selected required readings and written reflective assignments · 9 monthly seminars (3 hours)
· Ropes Course (½ day in length)
Year 4
Rural Family Medicine Preceptorship /Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs)
Clinical skill development and application of concepts learned throughout the curriculum. Completion of COPC Project. Immersion experience with predominantly clinical responsibilities. About 1/3 of student time spent on community projects which include collaboration with local individuals/organizations. Documentation of activities and completion of projects as assigned. Compilation of a community notebook and COPC or DNP Project presented at University Research Day Poster Forum. RPHARM & RMED student partners will complete a Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) Project in their chosen rural community. RNURSING students will complete a DNP project in their chosen rural community and may partner with other students.
APPEs (6 weeks) in hospital, community & ambulatory pharmacy practice in a rural Illinois community
16-week preceptorship in rural Illinois community working with a rural family physician
Continued development of clinical integration, teamwork and interprofessional communication skills are assessed through integrated, rural clinical practicums.