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, email Gaby Boscan.


RME leadership executive committee

Past Co-Chair – Ray Christensen, M.D., University of Minnesota Duluth Medical School associate dean for rural health and Rural Physician Associate Program associate director – Duluth, Minn.


Senior Co-Chair – Emily Onello, M.D., University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Family Medicine & Community Health assistant professor – Duluth, Minn.


Junior Co-Chair – David Evans, M.D., University of Washington Department of Family Medicine associate professor and Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program director – Seattle, Wash.


Member at Large – Bryan Hodge, D.O., Mountain Area Health Education Center director of rural health initiatives – Hendersonville, N.C.


Member at Large – Roberto Silva, M.D., University of Colorado Department of Family Medicine assistant professor – Denver, Colo.


Medical Student Rep./RME Student Caucus Rep. – Rose Montplaisir, Alpert Medical School of Brown University third-year medical student – Providence, R.I.


Membership Chair - Randall Longenecker, M.D., Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine professor of family medicine and assistant dean of rural and underserved programs – Athens, Ohio.


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).