The Rural Physician Associate Program was developed by the University of Minnesota Medical School faculty in an attempt to meet the demands of the citizens of Minnesota to improve the distribution of primary physicians to rural areas. The program is offered to students who have completed 2 2/3 academic years of medical school. There were no regulations requiring the students' return to rural areas after completion of training. Thus far, 163 students have completed the program. Forty-three have continued in medical school and another 27 are in residency-training programs. Primary care residencies have been chosen by 68; another 31 have completed their medical education and are in rural practice. Of the 22 practicing in Minnesota, 21 have returned to rural communities.