Rural Physician Program (RPP)

The College of Human Medicine's mission is explicit about educating excellent, caring physicians who will practice in Michigan's underserved rural communities. The Rural Physician Program (RPP) is one of the College's rural education programs, designed to educate students to become exemplary physicians with the clinical skills needed to meet the needs of rural Michigan.

The Upper Peninsula Campus is expanding!  Read about it here.

Each year, up to 16 CHM admitted students are selected to complete their clinical years (years 3 and 4) in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Preference for this program is given, though not limited, to applicants who have had significant experiences in rural Michigan or are considering eventually practicing in a small-town setting.

Program Description

The Rural Physician Program is a clinical option for students whose goals include serving people in small towns and rural communities. The goal of the RPP is to provide students with enriched clinical experiences, community service opportunities, and small town lifestyle advantages which will encourage CHM Rural Physician Program alumni to establish rewarding practices in Michigan's rural communities.

RPP students receive an excellent clinical education from Michigan State University faculty and from CHM selected board certified volunteer physicians from the local community. Students also have the opportunity to work with the Family Practice Residents at Marquette General, a Duke-Life Point Hospital.

While the RPP was particularly designed for students entering primary care fields, graduates can and have gone into nearly all specialties. The RPP curriculum emphasizes the caring, compassionate, humane approach to the doctor-patient relationship. The RPP provides students with outstanding, state-of-the-art facilities while maintaining a humanistic, personalized approach.

Rural Physician Program Application Process

Students interested in the Rural Physician Program should complete the Leadership in Rural Medicine Application and specify an interest in RPP. The Leadership in Rural Medicine application requires the completion of two additional essays within the Secondary Application, in which the applicant discusses their interests in rural medicine and highlight their personal characteristics and experiences that are consistent with becoming an excellent rural physician. RPP applicants should have interests and personality traits consistent with living in a smaller community and practicing in underserved, rural areas.

Block I and II

Students accepted to the Rural Physician Program will spend their 1st and 2nd years of medical school at either the Grand Rapids or East Lansing campus. During these years, RPP students in good standing will have the opportunity to participate in the Leadership in Rural Medicine enhanced curriculum that includes small group didactics and exposure to a rural community.

Block III (Years 3 and 4)

After passing Step 1 of the USMLE, students who are accepted to the Rural Physician Program move to the Upper Peninsula for a challenging clinical experience. Students assume increasing responsibility for diagnosing and treating patients during their ambulatory care experience. A variety of outpatient settings, including schools and counseling programs, also enrich this ambulatory care experience. Additional opportunities for students to train at rural sites throughout the Upper Peninsula are continually being developed.

The core clinical disciplines are done at Marquette General, a Duke-Life Point Hospital. Marquette General is a 315-bed regional referral center with outstanding state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated physician educators. A hallmark of the program is the two-month Family Medicine clerkship in a small Upper Peninsula community, where one-on-one teaching and tremendous clinical exposure serves to coalesce prior learning and experience in a comprehensive, humanistic approach. Additional required and elective time can be done in Marquette, anywhere in the CHM system, nationally or internationally.

Applicant Qualifications

Applicants to the MD program must have strong academic credentials, as well as personal attributes and career goals that are consistent with the CHM Mission.

Competitive applicants to the Leadership in Rural Medicine programs must first be admitted to CHM. Applicants must have outstanding qualifications for practicing in a rural area, with consideration given for previous rural life experiences, initiative, and the desire to become not only excellent physicians, but also community leaders. During the application process, students will state a preference for the Rural Physician Program, the Rural Community Health Program, or may apply for either. The Leadership in Rural Medicine Admissions Selection Committee strives to accept students to CHM's Rural programs who reflect the diversity of the College of Human Medicine's entering class.

For more information, please contact the UP campus:

MSU CHM Upper Peninsula Regional Campus
418 W. Magnetic Street
Marquette, MI 49855
Phone: (906) 228-7970
Fax: (906) 228-5734
Email the UP Campus