Rural Medical Scholars Program
Location: Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving Ave., Syracuse, NY 13210
Phone: 315 464-4570
RMED student Kathryn Weibrecht scrubs for surgery with Dr. Elizabeth Tucker at Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, NY.
SUNY Upstate Medical University is committed to doing something about the shortage of doctors in small communities and rural areas in our region.
Through the Rural Medical Scholars Program, Upstate will provide additional support for students who want to practice medicine in the state's underserved areas.
Applicants to the College of Medicine with a demonstrated interest and background in rural life may apply to the RMSP program by selecting the Rural Medicine Supplemental option when completing SUNY Upstate’s secondary application.
Students accepted into the Rural Medical Scholars Program will:
- Take a concurrent elective in their first two years, called "Introduction to Rural Health". It is designed to provide an overview of the benefits and challenges of rural practice.
- Be eligible for special summer electives or work opportunities in our affiliated rural communities.
- Receive early acceptance into the Rural Medical Education Program (RMED), which pairs third-year students with board-certified family physicians in small communities throughout the region.
- Start RMED in April of their Junior Year. Most communities provide housing and a scholarship to students who complete the full nine month RMED program.
A shorter, 3-month version of RMED is available for students who wish to complete additional electives at our academic medical centers.
The RMED program is sponsored by the Department of Family Medicine.
To be considered for this program, select the Rural Medicine Supplemental option when completing SUNY Upstate’s secondary application.
Testimonials from two former RMED Students
"In RMED I had the opportunity to be the ONLY medical student in a sea of attendings.
This means that I was learning directly from practicing physicians in a community medical setting, both in the hospital and in the doctor's office. While my colleagues were observing surgeries from the other end of a retractor, with the residents only getting the hands-on training, I was first assistant to the surgeon on every case we performed."
—Casey Patunoff, MD, and RMED graduate
Cool Cases Await!
"You go into a small community that's not used to having med students, and you work with doctors who are eager to talk to you about cool cases in surgery and in the emergency room. Pretty soon every doctor is calling you in with their cool cases. You have to learn to say no sometimes. Otherwise you'll never leave the hospital."
—Joshua Steinberg MD, former RMED student and instructor