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RUUTE & Regional Affairs Student Testimonials

Check out what some of the SFESOM students who have worked with the RUUTE program have to say about their experiences with some of our many offerings.

Matthew Ainsley, Class of 2025

RUUTE Experience: Rural Clinical Clerkship

"I have spent the past six weeks in Southern Utah in Monticello and Blanding working with Dr. Jeppesen in his family medicine clinic. Working with him has had a profound effect on both my education and approach to medicine going forward.  There are innumerable things he has taught me, from the impact one physician can have on a community to the general philosophy of medicine, that just would not have been possible to learn in a busy urban clinic."

Trisha Enriquez, Class of 2025

RUUTE Experience: Rural Clinical Clerkship

"Because of RUUTE efforts and funding, I was able to experience rural medicine, which provided an intimate glimpse into patient care in a small community. This rotation was especially important to me because I got to build relationships with a small subset of patients, and this reminded me of why I went into medicine in the first place. I will move forward in my medical training with the tools and the drive needed to make sure that my patients (and their loved ones) are always at the forefront of my mind."

Kenzie Keeney, Class of 2025

RUUTE Experience: Rural Clinical Clerkship

"The physician I worked with, Dr. Jeppesen, taught me the beauty of rural healthcare, and the great impact one can make as a physician in rural areas. He and the staff knew nearly every patient on a personal level, and truly considered the impact of their healthcare on them and their family members. We were able to practice medicine on a broad-spectrum, helping with pregnancies, 1-day old newborns, geriatric patients, substance abuse, muscle injuries, psychiatric problems, chronic diseases, and everything in between. I learned more in these three weeks than I ever have before and it was incredibly fun! In addition, I was able to enjoy the beautiful area of Southern Utah. I hiked, explored, found Native ruins from hundreds of years ago, and awed at the gorgeous autumn trees."

Emma Earl, Class of 2025

RUUTE Experience: Rural Clinical Clerkship

“I have had the best time in Polson! I worked in a clinic with 3 other physicians and 4 NP/PAs. I followed multiple patients through various stages in their care, cared for multiple patients within the same family, and learned skills that I will carry with me throughout my career. This rotation has been defining in my training and I am incredibly grateful. Thank you for making this rotation in Montana possible!”

Izak Walker, Class of 2026

RUUTE Experience: Community Engagement Experience, Rural Outreach Program, Rural Speaker Series

"The RUUTE program has given me my best experiences of medical school. I’ve lead ROP trips throughout Utah and Montana encouraging more rural students to go into medicine. Spent my summer with the CEE program in central Utah working with a full spectrum FM physician. Even the rural speaker series and shadowing experiences have reaffirmed my desire for a career in rural medicine. I have already begun to experience the challenges and rewards of rural medicine in the Intermountain West which excites me for my medical career."

Maddie Bernardo, Class of 2025

RUUTE Experience: RUUTE Scholars

"When I first joined RUUTE scholars, I was merely intrigued by the idea of practicing rural medicine. This intrigue quickly grew to passion and ultimately determination as I continued to gain exposure through the many opportunities this program affords. I have been able to establish lasting relationships with the providers at the smallest hospital in Idaho and have worked as a member of the team as a first year medical student as part of my Community Engagement Experience and as a third year medical student during a rural emergency medicine elective. I have participated in outreach that has allowed me to connect to students from my home state of Idaho and answer questions and provide advice about attending medical school. More recently, with the support of the RUUTE team, I have been able to opt into a rural longitudinal integrated clerkship model for my third year required clinical rotations. This allows me to spend an entire year in a more rural setting working with likeminded physicians and mentors while caring for a community with unique challenges and health care needs."

To find more ways to donate towards rural medical student scholarships, please visit the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine Website.

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Please contact the RUUTE Team with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.