Getting Started

What is a Rural Residency?

A rural residency is an accredited graduate medical education program in which trainees spend the majority of their time training in a rural place.

RRPD eligible programs include rural residencies that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Eligible grant recipients include physician residency programs that primarily train residents in rural clinical settings for greater than 50 percent of their total time and focus on producing physicians who will practice in rural and underserved areas. Programs may be rurally-located or may exist as an expansion of an urban program.

Featured Story

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Rural Family Medicine is a 1+2 program in Wellsboro and Coudersport, PA. Through the enthusiasm and support garnered in their communities, the program is able to offer free housing to rural residents and their families for their second and third year of training.

Check out UPMC Rural Family Medicine Residency

Wellsboro and Coudersport, PA

UPMC Rural Family Medicine Residency is recruiting its first class of residents to begin training in 2024. The program recruits two residents per year for a total complement of 6 trainees. Visit the August 2023 Newsletter for more information.

Learn about their journey

Interested in Rural GME

Rural track programs (RTPs) are a critical tool in recruiting and retaining future physicians who will serve rural communities. Evidence shows "…medical residents who train in rural settings are two to three times more likely to practice in a rural area; especially those who participate in a rural track program."

What are the steps to start a RTP?

The Rural Residency Planning and Development (RRPD) Technical Assistance Center created a framework to highlight the 5 key stages of program development. These include: exploration, design, development, start-up, and maintenance. The roadmap provides additional detail on each step to support the development of a functional, accredited, and financially sustainable program.

What funding is available to support rural residency development?

The Rural Residency Planning and Development Program (RRPD) supports development costs associated with creating new residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology as well as preventative medicine.

Grant funding typically supports start-up costs to establish new rural residencies including accreditation costs, faculty development, resident recruitment, faculty, and administrative staff.

Current and New Grant Recipients

The TAC provides technical assistance, tools, and resources to current and future grant recipients to help overcome significant challenges and barriers involved in developing new community-based residency programs. Support is offered in many ways, including:

  • Matching each grant recipient with an experienced advisor to create personalized action plans
  • Offering individualized, in-depth consultations, when needed, through our preferred partnered consultant organizations
  • Hosting monthly webinars on topics such as financial sustainability, faculty, resident recruitment, and more
  • Providing resources, slides, and webinar recordings on the Portal for easy access
  • Hosting an annual grant recipient meeting where all grant recipients, advisors, and partners come to network and learn from each other

Top Resources

The Rural Residency Planning and Development (RRPD) Technical Assistance Center Roadmap

Use the roadmap to learn details on each step to support the development of a functional, accredited, and financially sustainable program.

HRSA RRPD Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

Please check the HRSA RRPD Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for more information about funding eligibility.

Rural GME Development Portal

Login or register for a free account! The portal is open to RRPD Grant recipients and others interested in rural GME. Access free resources, funding webinars, and timeline for program accreditation and you will be added to our listserv and receive periodic updates and information.

Hospital Analyzer Tool

As you plan for a rural track program, use this popular tool available in the portal. This searchable tool provides detailed information on hospital types, locations, and funding implications associated with potential partner sites. You will find the hospital analyzer in the top header after you log into the portal.

Frequently Asked Questions

This website is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under cooperative agreement #UK6RH32513. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.


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