The University of Minnesota Medical School is proud to introduce Kirby Clark, MD, as the new Director of Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) and Metropolitan Physician Associate Program (MetroPAP) — two flagship and internationally-recognized longitudinal integrated clerkship programs. Dr. Clark will be responsible for the leadership, strategic direction, organization, and operations of all aspects of RPAP and MetroPAP and replaces Dr. Kathy Brooks who retired in November 2016.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Clark to the Undergraduate Medical Education team,” said Associate Dean Robert Englander, MD, MPH. “His combination of education leadership and on-the-ground experience, combined with his passion for the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) model and creating the future workforce to meet the rural and urban underserved needs of Minnesota are a perfect recipe for success. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Interim Director Nancy Baker, MD, for her service to both of these programs.”

Dr. Clark is currently the associate program director of the University of Minnesota St. John’s Hospital Family Medicine Residency and has served as the Director of Medical Student Education at St. John’s since 2012. He brings to the position a wealth of expertise in longitudinal curriculum design, implementation, and assessment.

“I am excited to join the accomplished RPAP/MetroPAP team and build on its extraordinary legacy,” said Dr. Clark. “Dedicated to the service of patients in difficult to reach and inspiring communities, this program has catalyzed medical education innovation for decades.  I look forward to working with Associate Director Ray Christensen and the RPAP/MetroPAP faculty and staff as we continue to serve our students, staff, and faculty and innovate medical education for the benefit of our patients and communities.”

A 2001 graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Dr. Clark did an internship in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics (2001-2002) and a Residency in Family Medicine (2002-2005), He also participated in the Emerging Physicians Leadership Program (Now the David A. Rothenberger Leadership Academy) in its second cohort of exemplar physician leaders.

“Having grown into a mature clinician, educator, and leader since joining our faculty in 2005, Dr. Clark is ready to lead  RPAP/MetroPAP with a sense of excitement and enthusiasm,” said chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health Macaran Baird, MD. “These programs continue to be critical components of medical education at the University of Minnesota Medical School and demonstrate the best aspects of longitudinal integrated clerkships. Dr. Clark will fit well into this leadership role,  recognized as one of the most exciting educational opportunities in the country.”

Dr. Clark will join the Office of Medical Education in his new director capacity on August 1.

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. The Metropolitan Physician Associate Program (MetroPAP) is designed for current medical students who are seeking hands-on experience in an urban setting, often working with underserved and diverse communities.