rural immersion


Helping rural communities change their future by promoting rural communities to future healthcare providers.

20% of Americans live in rural areas across 97% of the Nation’s land.
American Community Survey (2015)
However, only 10% of healthcare providers choose to practice in a rural area.
American Academy of Family Physicians (2015)
The Rural Immersion Program is far more than just recruiting health care professionals. It is about building a community and growing the local economy. In this effort, we’re all indispensable stakeholders.  

Major Goal

  • Help students gain an understanding of rural healthcare settings, including their benefits and barriers
  • Have students become interested in a career in rural medicine (a high need area in healthcare) and health care
  • Expose students to a variety of different healthcare professions

To meet the above goals, students will spend a week immersed in the community and shadowing healthcare professionals at a designated hospital. Students will meet and interview various hospital employees (CEO, managers, physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, technicians, etc.), area healthcare services representatives (public health, behavioral services, hospice, LifeNet emergency services, etc.), and community members.


Program Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course students shall be able to:

  • Identify general tasks and scope of clinical care for various health professionals through shadowing and interviewing
  • Understand the management and services of a small urgent care hospital
  • Understand what healthcare services are available/not available in the community outside the hospital (hospice, dental, mental health, etc.) and the challenges people may face in the lack of these services
  • Assess and understand the relationship and communication between the community and the hospital
  • Identify health issues and challenges in the local community and think critically about solutions
  • Assemble and deliver an oral presentation of their findings and assessment to the local community

Health care in a rural area can represent up to 20% of the community’s employment and income

American Academy of Family Physicians (2015)

The average critical access hospital creates 170 jobs and generates $7.1 million in salaries, wages, and benefits annually

National Rural Health Association (2017)

One rural primary care doctor creates 23 jobs and

generates $1.5 million in annual revenue

American Academy of Family Physicians (2015)

One rural general surgeon creates 26 jobs and

generates $2.7 million in annual revenue

American Academy of Family Physicians (2015)

Program Impact

So far, the program has been highly accredited and extremely successful in influencing undergraduate students to continue studying medicine with the intent to bring their services to rural areas.

Contact us today

To learn more about how the rural immersion program can help you