Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP)

RPAP 50th Class graphic over photo of students

Director Kirby Clark, MD

Kirby Clark

The Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) is a nine-month, community-based educational experience for University of Minnesota third-year medical students who live and train in rural communities across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. RPAP students experience hands-on learning as they care for patients of all ages.

  • 1500+ ALUMNI

Prospective Students

Students work under the direct supervision of board-certified community preceptors and other specialists in the community hospital and clinic. Students from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience participate in the program.

Rural Observation Experience

The Rural Observation Experience (ROE) is a 2-3 day shadowing experience with a rural family physician. Students see first-hand the rewards and challenges of rural medicine.

Summer Internship in Medicine

SIM is an elective experience offered to students during the summer between their first and second year of medical school. The course is offered through the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth.

  • "The part of RPAP I loved the most was the continuity of care. I have delivered babies and watched them grow to be 9 month-olds. I have watched individuals go through the scariest, hardest medical problems and have a breakthrough. I've seen cancer be diagnosed and cured. I can't be more thankful for what I have been able to be part of."  - Former RPAP student

  • "RPAP allows for a great deal of self-directed learning. It is necessary to correlate what is seen in the clinic with book study. It takes a great deal of discipline to keep on track but makes the learning experience that much more fulfilling. I enjoyed the opportunity to explore specific avenues of medicine like public health, hospice and community health."  - Former RPAP student

  • "During elective time I tried to really get out and do things I knew I wouldn't have the opportunity to do when I went back to the cities. We went down to the lab and spent time with the pathologists. They have a two-headed microscope and love to teach. They also do autopsies and I was able to see one to review my anatomy." - Former RPAP student

CONTACT Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP)

B-615 Mayo Memorial Building

Phone: 612-624-3111
Fax: 612-624-2613