RPAP and MetroPAP get a new director

Portrait of Kirby Clark, M.D.

Kirby Clark, M.D.

The Medical School recently appointed Kirby Clark, M.D., Class of 2001, as the new director of its Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) and Metropolitan Physician Associate Program (MetroPAP) — both clerkships.

Launched in 1971, RPAP places third-year medical students in rural communities for nine-month longitudinal training experiences across multiple medical specialties. So far, it has helped train more than 1,500 aspiring physicians, many of whom eventually chose to practice primary care in rural areas. 

The RPAP-inspired MetroPAP trains medical students in urban, medically underserved communities for nine months, with a focus on resource stewardship, community outreach, and advocacy. 

Clark, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, has been a master tutor and instructor in the Medical School. He was most recently associate program director of the family medicine residency program at St. John’s Hospital in St. Paul, where he completed his own residency and served as director of medical student education. 

“I am grateful for the robust and passionate RPAP/MetroPAP community,” says Clark, who started in his new role on August 1. “Serving patients in hard-to-reach rural and urban communities is what drives and connects us.”

Clark took the reins from Nancy Baker, M.D., who stepped in as interim director when Kathleen Brooks, M.D., M.B.A., retired in November 2016 after having led the programs since 2008.  

Published on October 18, 2017