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. 

Rural Health Professions (RHP) Course Curriculum Focus Methods Contact Hours
Year 1
Rural health issues, community resources, intro to Community-Oriented Primary Care (COPC) project, rural leadership and negotiation skills RMED/RPHARM new student orientation, seminars, case-based small group discussions, field trips, optional rural health conferences, shadowing rural primary care physician for a day, selected readings and assignments ~2 day orientation
7-9 monthly evening dinner seminars (3hrs/month)
1-2 day field trips
1-3 day conferences
informal feedback session
Year 2
Core concepts of rural healthcare, community resources (con’t), team approaches to healthcare, GME, practice-based issues
Seminars, case-based small group discussions, rural health conferences, group presentation of annotated bibliography on a rural health topic, optional conferences and workshops, selected readings and assignments
9 monthly evening dinner seminars (3hrs/month)
1-2 day field trip
1-3 day conferences
Informal feedback session
Year 3
Concepts of community-based healthcare and COPC, core concepts of rural healthcare vis-à-vis M3/P3 curriculum and rural practice, community structure study Seminars, small group discussions, a community health survey, a windshield analysis, design COPC project, selected readings, compile community notebook 9 monthly evening dinner seminars (3 hrs/month)
on-site visit to precepting community
Year 4
Clinical skill development in rural settings, implementation of COPC project in rural community Immersion experience. 60% clinical responsibilities; 40% community projects, which include collaboration with community individuals / organizations.  Log clinical encounters into computer database; present COPC project in Poster Session 16-week preceptorship in rural Illinois community working with a rural primary care physician/rural pharmacist