NRHA Rural Medical Education Group

The Rural Medical Education (RME) Group is a special interest group of NRHA committed to advancing the training of physicians for rural practice through network development and advocacy.

Led by an executive committee with staff support from NRHA, the Rural Medical Educators meet annually at the Rural Medical Education Conference, generally in conjunction with NRHA's Annual Rural Health 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 listserv and an e-community throughout the year.

If you are interested in joining, e-mail Gaby Boscan

RME leadership

Executive Committee

Past Co-Chair – Mary Barinaga, MD, Assistant Dean for Regional Affairs for the University of Washington School of Medicine

Senior Co-Chair – Suzanne Eidson-Ton. MD, Director of Rural-PRIME and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at University of California - Davis

Junior Co-Chair – Mark Deutchman, MD, Professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Member at Large – Emily Onello, MD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine & Community Health at the University of Minnesota - Duluth

Member at Large – David Evans, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program at the University of Washington

Medical Student Rep/RME Student Caucus Rep – Hallie Foster, fourth-year medical student at The University of Toledo College of Medicine

Membership Chair - Randy Longenecker, MD, Professor of Family Medicine and Assistant Dean Rural and Underserved Programs at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine


RME history

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 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.

Medical school rural tracks in the U.S.
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).