Kirby Clark

Director Kirby Clark, MD

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.

The part of RPAP I loved the most was the continuity of care. I have delivered babies and watched them grow to be nine months old. 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.

RPAP is an incredibly unique and rewarding experience. You get the opportunity to work with physicians and help make important decisions. You get the unique opportunity to truly get to know patients, see them across different specialties, and understand their perspective. Lastly, you get a better understanding of the role the physician has in the community.

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.