National Rural Health Association

NRHA's 2017 Rural Health Policy Institute

Rural Medical Education (RME)

We are a small group with a big vision – geographically dispersed, ethnically and culturally diverse, each in our place uniquely challenged, yet together facing common political, economic, and academic obstacles. Therefore, our organization is designed to be doable and efficient, with a focus and a structure directed toward action. Central in this structure is an effective and committed core of individuals (Core Members). The efforts of this group in turn are embedded in a larger community of stakeholders in rural health. We recognize that our success is rooted in the health of our rural communities (including our Associate Members and Affiliated Organizations).


RME Org Chart

The structural goal of our organization is (1) to foster collaboration both among members and with a larger community of stakeholders, (2) to promote creativity and to generate new ideas in rural medical education, and (3) to remain uncomplicated and adaptable to changing circumstance.

Led by an Executive Committee with staff support from NRHA, the Rural Medical Educators meet annually, generally in conjunction with NRHA's Annual Conference. This meeting serves as the anchoring event of each year’s activity. Additional activities are "spawned rather than sponsored" with the group fostering interaction through participation in a list serve and an e-Community throughout the year.


Medical School Rural Tracks in the US

Policy Brief, September 2013
Mark Deutchman, MD, in coordination with other researchers including members of NRHA’s Rural Medical Education group, surveyed 35 U.S. medical schools about their active or planned rural tracks (RT) to better understand what rural medical education looks like throughout the country. The brief looks at their admissions and processes, curriculum, administration and funding structures, and program outcomes.

Access the brief here.

This brief was funded through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, as administered by the National Rural Health Association (Grant U16RH03702).


Join the Rural Medical Educators!

Read the member type description below and download the survey application Excel file. Complete the Excel file and e-mail to Gabriela Boscan at

Core Member — "Voting Member"
  1. Must be an NRHA member (Membership # required)
  2. Must be actively involved in rural premedical student, medical student, and/or resident education through teaching, research or advocacy
  3. Must complete and return a core membership dataset annually prior to the annual meeting
  4. Must participate in at least one national rural medical education related group meeting every two years (RME Meeting, NRHA Annual Conference, AAFP Committee on Rural Health, STFM Group on Rural Health, NAPCRG, AHEC Annual Meeting)

Download the core membership dataset survey to complete and submit

History of the Rural Medical Education Group

During a rural graduate medical education conference in February 2000, attendees proposed a medical education entity to be named the National Association of Rural Medical Educators (NARME). Members included physicians, rural medical education faculty and graduate program directors.

This membership evolved into the Rural Medical Educators Special Interest Group, an integral part of the National Rural Health Association's Research and Education Constituency. The RME special interest group combined the functions of program directors and faculty with the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and rural family physicians to help recruit, train and orient medical students for careers in rural medicine.

The first annual meeting of rural medical educators was held in May 2001, in conjunction with NRHA's Annual Conference in Dallas. At this meeting, goals were established to address its development agenda for rural medical education.

The Rural Medical Educators have continued to meet each year in conjunction with NRHA's Annual Rural Health Conference.


Additional Links and Information

World of Rural Medical Education Web site

Rural Medical Education Curricular Resource

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