Education and Training of the Rural Healthcare Workforce – Models and Innovations
These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Updated/reviewed August 2021
- Need: General surgeons are needed in rural communities.
- Intervention: Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is sending residents to complete a general surgery rotation in rural southern Oregon.
- Results: 38% of the graduates of the rural residency program are now practicing in a rural setting. The residents remain more likely than other OHSU residents to enter general surgery practice and to serve in a community of fewer than 50,000 people.
Updated/reviewed March 2021
- Need: Lack of healthcare providers, specifically physicians, in rural Missouri.
- Intervention: Rising second-year medical students at University of Missouri's School of Medicine are given the opportunity to participate in a clinical program in a rural community setting.
- Results: Almost half of the participants from 1996-2010 chose to practice in rural locations upon graduation.
Updated/reviewed December 2019
- Need: To prepare future physicians for practicing in rural southern Appalachia.
- Intervention: The Appalachian Preceptorship Program offers medical students clinical preceptorships to give them experience practicing in rural, underserved communities of southern Appalachia.
- Results: Students who participate in this preceptorship are more than 3 times as likely to practice medicine in a rural location.
Updated/reviewed July 2021
- Need: To make it easier for rural nurses to continue their education by decreasing the need to travel.
- Intervention: An innovative, online health assessment course used telehealth to allow rural RN-BSN students to demonstrate skills acquisition.
- Results: Rural participants had similar learning outcomes to those participating in the onsite version of the course, with fewer travel costs, less time away from work, and higher overall satisfaction.
Updated/reviewed July 2021
- Need: To reduce the primary care provider shortage in rural Colorado.
- Intervention: A "grow your own" initiative in Colorado recruited rural registered nurses and trained them to become advanced practice RNs.
- Results: 81 RNs participated in the Rural and Underserved APRN Project.
Updated/reviewed November 2020
- Need: To increase the number of primary care providers in northeast Kentucky.
- Intervention: STEPS provides support such as physician shadowing, mock interviews, and MCAT practice exams for regional students applying to medical school.
- Results: Approximately 70% of participants have been accepted into medical school. The program has been replicated among all of Kentucky's regional AHECs.
Updated/reviewed April 2019
- Need: To fill vacant medical positions in Maine's rural medical facilities.
- Intervention: The Tufts Maine Track LIC program offers clerkships in rural medical facilities, exposing medical school students to the positives and possibilities that rural practices have to offer.
- Results: The program has seen an increase in students' interest to practice in rural Maine. The majority have pursued medical careers in one of the 6 core specialties studied during their clerkship.
Other Project Examples
Updated/reviewed September 2021
- Need: Family physicians in the rural areas of Wisconsin.
- Intervention: A collaborative was created that provides leadership, technical assistance, and training for expanding rural graduate medical education in Wisconsin.
- Results: The collaborative expanded rural graduate medical education rotations, residencies, and fellowship opportunities for training rural family physicians in Wisconsin.
Updated/reviewed June 2021
- Need: To expose medical and physician assistant students to rural healthcare practices and a rural lifestyle.
- Intervention: A two-week immersion program for second-year students to experience rural healthcare and rural life in Connecticut and New York.
- Results: In post-program evaluations from 2016 to 2018, 50% of students reported being very likely to practice in a rural setting, compared to just over 10% of students before the program.
Updated/reviewed January 2021
- Need: To improve and increase prevention and care services for HIV, STDs, hepatitis C, and other infectious diseases.
- Intervention: PAETC-NV provides clinical and didactic trainings, conferences, technical assistance, capacity building, webinars, and other services to providers and healthcare organizations statewide.
- Results: In fiscal year 2018, PAETC-NV provided over 1,300 hours in 38 trainings for more than 800 healthcare providers throughout Nevada.
Last Updated: 9/29/2021