Family medicine education and rural health: a response to present and future needs

J Rural Health. 1991 Spring;7(2):105-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.1991.tb00713.x.


The importance of family medicine in providing rural health services has been established for quite some time. The need to train physicians who select the specialty of family medicine is critical at a time when medical student interest in the primary care specialties appears to be diminishing. Renewed efforts by educational institutions and incentives at the state and federal levels will be necessary to assist in the alleviation of shortages of rural physicians. The educational program at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, School of Medicine has achieved a great deal of success in training rural family physicians. A coordinated program effort, featuring the efforts of more than 200 family physicians during the past 15 years, has led to 52.5 percent of all graduates selecting family practice and more than 41 percent choosing practice sites with a population fewer than 20,000. Elements of the program at Duluth could serve as a model for other schools desiring to increase the number of students entering family medicine and rural practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice
  • Data Collection
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Minnesota
  • Physicians, Family / supply & distribution*
  • Preceptorship
  • Rural Health*
  • Schools, Medical
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Workforce