Frequently Asked Questions

What is RMED?

RMED enables students from the Syracuse and Binghamton campuses to complete up to 40 percent of their clinical training in community-based settings that include private offices and small rural hospitals over a 36-week period. RMED students quickly become immersed in the delivery of primary care and develop long-term relationships with clinical preceptors and their communities.

How did RMED start?

RMED was established in 1989 to broaden the training experience of Upstate's medical students. The program also helps address the needs of medically underserved communities. Since its inception, 208 students have participated in the program.

What makes RMED special?

Students perform in roles they otherwise might not experience until residency. They often have the chance to assist in surgery, perform and read CAT scans with radiologists, gain doctor feedback from patient write-ups, and confer one-on-one with specialists.

Who chooses RMED?

RMED students tend to be mature self-starters who learn best in one-on-one relationships with faculty and patients. RMED students are able to create flexible programs that emphasize their own educational interests without signing up for electives.

Is the RMED program only for those interested in practicing primary care medicine?

No. On the contrary, 30 percent of RMED students do not enter primary care medicine. However, they find the program supports their interest in specialties such as: otolaryngology, orthopedics, radiology, ophthalmology, urology, anesthesiology, geriatrics, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry.

How are students selected?

Students are selected by the RMED staff on the basis of satisfactory academic standing, interest in rural medicine, potential interest in eventually practicing in upstate New York, interest in primary care, and a judgement of the applicant¿s maturity and ability to thrive in an independent learning environment.

How are students matched with sites?

RMED staff assign students to teaching sites, taking into consideration student needs and preferences as well as academic interests.

What is the preclinical elective, Introduction to Rural Health FAMP 1646?

This elective is required for all medical students admitted to SUNY Upstate College of Medicine through the Rural Medical Scholars Program and runs concurrently over the MS1 and MS2 preclinical years. The course content includes: once-monthly evening seminars with guest speakers, group discussions on a student-created internet (BLOG) network, assigned homework readings and reflective essays, hands-on-learning practicums, and a year-end final project during each MS1 and MS2 years involving a rural county. Participants will learn about the challenges, rewards, and unique opportunities of medical practice in a smaller community or rural community. Medical Students outside the RMSP program who are interested in rural health may register if space is available with permission from the instructor.

Where do the students live while working in the RMED program?

Host communities provide housing for students, either in the form of a hospital-owned house or apartment, or by reimbursing the student for costs of renting an apartment.

When do I apply to RMED?

Students apply in March of their second year. They begin the program in their third year. Applications are available online PDF Icon or from the Department of Family Medicine.