Rural Rotations for Medical Students
Most medical schools, even those without an explicit rural track, allow students to spend weeks or months in a rural location of their choice. And many rural residency programs welcome student rotations from accredited US medical schools, both allopathic and osteopathic. Unfortunately for the 2020-2021 academic year, due to the COVID pandemic these opportunities, with few exceptions, will be markedly restricted to programs that already take medical students from your school for required rotations.
That doesn’t mean that you have no options. Even if a rural residency program does not have a formal listing of rotation opportunities, feel free to contact the programs and ask what rotations are possible. Using our Rural Programs map, you can contact any program for a possible online elective or limited educational experience, e.g. a research elective online. In addition, residency programs are coming up with creative solutions for the upcoming residency application cycle, even drone tours!
Rural rotations can also be arranged with individual physicians or group practices, and financial assistance may be available through the American Academy of Family Physicians – Find a chapter in your state.
The Visiting Students Application Service (AAMC) is a good place for US medical students to check for periodic updates:
For international medical graduates desiring to participate in a rural rotation, it is important to note that in person clinical rotations may not be available to you either, simply because of malpractice difficulties and because of policies from the larger training programs with which many RTTs are affiliated. You are encouraged to send an email of enquiry to the contact listed on the residency site, and if you get no response, don’t be discouraged. Our leadership contains at least one previous program director, so we are aware that the sheer number of such requests can be daunting to some programs. You are encouraged to at least apply for residency through ERAS since most of these programs do accept applicants from international schools.