Rural Medical Scholars Program Overview

Through the Rural Medical Scholars Program (RMSP), SUNY Upstate Medical University's Department of Family Medicine places a small number of third year medical students in the Rural Medical Education Program (RMED) and sends them to rural communities full-time for 19 or 36 consecutive weeks.

In this setting, they work and learn under the supervision of board-certified family physicians and other specialists. Full academic credit is earned for this experience.

Students who elect this program live in the rural community, and return to Syracuse or Binghamton campus at its conclusion to complete their studies for the MD degree.

This course offers a unique opportunity for the student to develop a long-term relationship with clinical preceptors in the rural community, while becoming immersed in the delivery of primary care to the local population. The student participates actively and extensively in continuous and comprehensive care of preceptor's patients across the age spectrum in both ambulatory and hospital settings.

The program is designed for anyone interested in practicing in a rural community, regardless of specialty desired.

There are 7 primary goals that drive the RMED program:

  1. Broaden the student's knowledge base;
  2. Provide greatly expanded opportunities for the student to sharpen clinical skills;
  3. Develop the student's skills in clinical problem solving and patient management;
  4. Foster positive attitudes toward patient care in the ambulatory setting;
  5. Expose the student to the practice of continuous and comprehensive medical care;
  6. Help the student develop independent learning skills.
  7. Give clinical experience in a rural/small town setting.