Rural areas of the United States are perennially medically underserved, and the state of Illinois is no exception. A recent survey showed that 75 of Illinois' 84 rural counties are primary care physician shortage areas. In response to this chronic physician shortage, the Illinois Rural Medical Education (RMED) Program was developed by the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford. The RMED program is a comprehensive, multifaceted program that combines recruitment, admissions, curriculum, support, and evaluation components and is longitudinal across all 4 years of the medical school experience. The admissions process seeks to select students who possess traits indicative of success in eventual rural family practice. These traits are fostered and developed by the 4-year rural curriculum, which emphasizes family medicine, community-oriented primary care, the physician functioning in the context of community, relevant aspects of the "hidden" curriculum, and service learning. After 6 years, RMED has graduated 39 physicians; 69% have gone into family practice, and a total of 82% have selected primary care residencies.