- We improve access to quality healthcare for rural and underserved populations.
- We co-create sustainable physician access through clinical and cultural exposure of GME trainees and position University of Utah Health as a national leader in community partnerships and rural GME.
- We discover and enhance factors that increase the viability and diversity of rural physician practice models.
- We accomplish this through rural awareness, clinical rotation experiences, rural residency program development, and grant support.
Rural & Underserved Utah Training Experiences (RUUTE – GME)
The purpose of RUUTE – GME is to increase physician trainee exposure to and awareness of rural and underserved healthcare needs in Utah. We work to develop and enhance partnerships between residency programs and clinical sites to provide two to six-week rural rotations for trainees.
We offer grant writing support to program directors with sustainable, high-quality, rural residency program development as our goal. The first rural residency program in Utah and the first Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Rural Residency Program in the nation to be launched in 2022.
Resident as Teacher (RaT)
RaT is an elective experience for residents and students on RUUTE rotations who are interested in improving their teaching skills. The ability to effectively teach is important for physicians to practice and master as every clinical encounter is an educational encounter.
Rural Impact Research & Scholarships
We are conducting a qualitative study to understand the value of developing graduate medical trainee rural electives in Utah. Key stakeholders both from University of Utah Graduate Medical Education and rural Utah partner sites will be interviewed to identify the barriers and facilitators as well as perceived best practices, for a successful rural rotation.
We also saw an opportunity to understand and establish the impact of rural rotations on physician wellness, in other words, prevention of burnout. If causation or a strong correlation is proven, this relationship can propel the buy-in for physicians to engage in rural practice to the next level.
In 2019, we partnered with our sister program, RUUTE UME, and funded 18 medical students engaged in rural research projects. Beginning 2021, our goal is to identify resident/fellow interest in rural research and support the same.
We work closely with program directors to reach out to our trainees and faculty for increasing awareness of rural needs. We have increased our reach due to sponsoring the Symposium for Underserved, Rural and Global Health Conference annually. We also work closely with our partners in School of Medicine, College of Nursing, Physician Assistant programs and Utah Department of Health Office of Primary Care and Rural Health to celebrate National Rural Health Day each year.