50 Years of RPAP

RPAP 50th Class graphic over photo of students

Celebrate our 50th Class!

The Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) at the University of Minnesota Medical School was founded in 1971 by Dr. John Verby with state funding to increase the number of primary care physicians in rural Minnesota. The Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) now has 1,600+ alumni. 

On October 1, 2020, the 50th class of the Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) began their nine-month training in communities across Minnesota. Celebrate with us throughout the 2020-21 academic year while we remember our alumni and influential partners and highlight our current students! 

Our History


I was welcomed into a community of clinicians in Hibbing. I was invited into the rural family medicine group, pediatrics, internal med, and also surgery, orthopedics, radiology and even pathology. My preceptor had me spend time with a variety of wonderful clinicians who wanted to teach and give me experience. My surgical, procedural and outpatient clinical experiences were well beyond what traditional medical tracks would entail, which improves the confidence needed to think you could be “on your own” in rural practice. In residency, and even later in practice many of these experiences were of value. Being in a rural community during a local economic crisis gave me insights to relate to a variety of patients through my career."

- Jeanne Hesse, RPAP alumni, Hibbing, 1980

CONTACT Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP)

B-615 Mayo Memorial Building
Email: rpapumn@umn.edu

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