RPM 120: Rural Health Issues I introduces students to the professional realities of rural physicians. Students will become familiar with various pathways into the medical profession, and be guided in preparing for application to medical school. The course will include a field trip to our regional hospital and guest lectures from several practicing rural health professionals. The importance of both professionalism and self-care will be emphasized throughout the course.

RPM 121: Rural Health Issues II introduces students to the concept of inter-professional practice and to various communication skills needed for collaboration and effective teamwork. Students will develop awareness and skills in respectful listening, compassionate communication, group process, and conflict transformation. Attention will also be paid to issues of social power and privilege, prejudice, discrimination, and what is required to overcome these.

Rural Health Issues IV builds on Rural Health Issues III (RPM 220) to further develop students’ communication skills and their ability to present themselves professionally to others. The course includes significant preparation for medical entrance interviews. A second and equally important component of RPM 221 is the focus on wellness and self-care for medical students and professionals, including the challenges and benefits of systematically working toward work-life balance and healthy role-modeling in the areas of diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management.