Skip to main content
Utah red rock desert and silo
Utah red rock desert and silo

Rural Primary Care Track


The Rural Primary Care Track aims to advance the rural physician workforce. To do this, the track encourages and prepares students to become rural primary care providers. Through didactic and immersive teaching, students learn rural primary care best practices.

RPCT students will develop a broad skill set necessary for rural careers. These include excellent clinical skills, community leadership, disease prevention, and health promotion.

Rural road in southern Utah
Rural road in southern Utah

Annual Tuition Scholarship

Students in the 2024 RPCT cohort are eligible for up to $45,000 in tuition support. 

Funds are distributed through an annual tuition scholarship. This means the value of students' scholarship will increase each year, as they complete the track. 

Students who choose residencies in primary care will be eligible for additional funds upon graduation.

Graduating medical student smiles as they talk with peers
Graduating MD smiles with their peers


Rural Primary Care Track students will complete the following:

  • TRUE Program: A 15 credit, four year graduate certificate program that encompasses didactic and immersive learning. 
  • AHEC Scholars Program: Students will complete the program over four years. Students receive a letter of recommendation from the program director upon completion.
  • RUUTE Rural Speaker Series: Eight presentations must be attended throughout medical school. 
  • RUUTE Rural Outreach Program: Students must complete at least two rural outreach program trips during medical school.   
  • Rural Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship: All MD students complete a longitudinal integrated clerkship in their second year. In the RPCT, students will do their clerkships at a rural site. Before students accept a spot in the RPCT, they will know where their rural LIC will take place.
Medical students on a hike in southern utah red rocks
TRUE students gather for a hike

How to Apply

15 students will be picked for the Rural Primary Care Track.

The application will be made available to all class of 2028 students. Students will receive the application via email once accepted to the U. 

The RPCT admissions committee will select students based on their lived experience, exceptional strength, deep interest, and strong commitment to serving rural communities. 

students at school of medicine white coat ceremony
Students at white coat ceremony

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's about the Rural Primary Care Track

  • The RPCT implements a holistic admissions process incorporating educational and experiential components. The program committee will prioritize selecting students with a strong background and history in working with rural communities. Applicants should convey knowledge, understanding, personal connection, and interest in addressing health disparities, advancing rural community health, and entering a career in primary care (pediatrics, med-peds, internal medicine, family medicine).

  • Yes, students who are not Utah residents are encouraged to apply to the program, if interested. 

    Preference may be given to incoming students who are from the Intermountain West region, or are from the following states: Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado. 

    Incoming students from Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming will still be bound by established agreements with the state of Idaho, WICHE (Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education) and SFESOM.

  • RPCT students, in addition to the standard foundational curriculum, are required to complete the following:

    • TRUE Graduate Certificate
    • Utah AHEC Scholars Program
    • A rural LIC 
    • Two rural outreach program trips
    • Attend eight rural lecture series presentations 
  • Currently, rural LIC sites are planned at a variety of Utah counties, including:  

    • Cache 
    • Tooele 
    • Duchesne 
    • Uinitah 
    • Carbon 
    • Grand 
    • San Juan 
    • Iron 
    • Washington 
    • Wasatch 

    RPCT applicants will have the opportunity to rank their rural LIC preferences. Student placements for the '25/'26 academic year will occur during the fall/winter semester of 2024. Phase 2 and RPCT, and LIC directors will work with students to optimize LIC site matches for RPCT students. 

    Students are responsible for securing their own housing and transportation for rural LIC. Any costs related to relocation of a student and their families are borne by the student. However, students can offset any costs with scholarship support that is provided for RPCT participation.

    Many other rural sites are being piloted for the '25/'26 academic year, and sites are subject to change.

  • There are several pathways/certificates available at SFESOM. Though we encourage students to explore these experiences and opportunities, students will need to prioritize RPCT to maintain funding.

    MD/PhD students are ineligible to participate in the RPCT at this time. 

  • Yes. 

    RUUTE Scholars is not considered a pathway. It instead focuses on an array of rich community, clinical, and research experiences and activities in rural and underserved communities throughout medical school.  

    Some of the RUUTE Scholars activities are required for RPCT students, including RUUTE Rural Outreach Program trips and the Rural Speaker Series. 

  • Yes.  

    As part of the PROMIS2U program, participants need to re-apply to SFESOM. Applicants will have the chance to apply to the RPCT once they have been accepted.

  • Participants are highly encouraged to pursue residency training in a primary care specialty (family Medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, or med-peds). 

    Though this is not an RPCT requirement, students who choose one of these four residency programs will receive additional scholarship funding upon graduation. 

    Students do not need to stay in Utah for residency. 

  • Non-residents will be considered for this program, but preference will be given to Utah residents. If a non-resident is accepted as a RPCT, they will receive the same financial assistance as a resident, as outlined above. 

  • No. Scholarship funding is awarded annually, based on whether students complete the program year-to-year.  

    If at any point students decide to stop the RPCT, they won't need to pay back previously awarded scholarship funding. 

    If they drop out, they will not continue to receive scholarship funding.

Contact Us

Have further questions? Reach out to: 

David Sandweiss, MD, TRUE Director,

Olivia Spencer, MPA, Program Manager,