The Emerging Landscape of Rural Family Medicine Residency Training: Defining Models and Assessing Their Value

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2023
Anticipated completion date:
March 2025

Compared with rural background, rural residency training is an even stronger predictor of which family physicians choose rural practice. Meanwhile, there is growing awareness of the value of rural training and recent legislation seeking to expand rural training positions.

Important differences in rural training include where the residency is located (rural or urban), how much rural training residents receive, and whether all or a subset of a program's residents receive rural training. Experts from the RTT Collaborative and the WWAMI Rural Health Research Center have developed a typology of rural training. It defines rural training as being located in a place that is rural according to at least two federal definitions and delineates six program types:

  1. Rurally Located Program
  2. Rural Track Program
  3. Urban Program with a Rural Track
  4. Urban Program with a Rural Pathway
  5. Urban Program with a Rural Focus
  6. Program with Rural Outcomes

This study will use this new typology to describe and quantify programs and positions according to model type and compare the models' relative effectiveness in producing rural physicians.