Family Medicine Residency Training in Rural Areas: How Much Is Taking Place, and Is It Enough to Prepare a Future Generation of Rural Family Physicians?


Determines how much rural family practice training is taking place in the United States. Among the results are that only 33 family medicine residency programs (7.4 percent) are located in rural areas and most of the training sponsored by these programs occurs in rural areas. On the other hand, while more than one-third of the urban programs listed rural training as an important part of their mission, only 2.3 percent of the training they supported took place in rural areas. For the nation as a whole, only 7.5 percent of family medicine residency training occurred in rural areas despite the fact that 22.3 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural places. The report concludes that to the extent that there is a link between the place of training and future practice, the lack of rural training contributes to the shortage of rural physicians. Furthermore, unless significant efforts are made to increase rural residency training, rural physician shortages are likely to persist.

WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
Roger Rosenblatt, Ronald Schneeweiss, Gary Hart, Susan Casey, Holly Andrilla, Frederick Chen