Comparisons of medical student experiences in rural and university settings

J Med Educ. 1977 Oct;52(10):802-10. doi: 10.1097/00001888-197710000-00002.


This paper is a report of the results of the Patient Encounter Project, which was designed to document all clinical experiences of medical students (N = 36) for seven months in the Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) and to compare these experiences with those of a control group of third-year students (N = 26) enrolled in the regular curriculum during the same time period at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis. The purpose of RPAP is to provide education and clinical experience in rural health care for a limited number of third-year medical students for nine to 12 months and to encourage the eventual practice of medicine in a rural setting. Subjects completed one standardized form for every clinical encounter with a patient throughout the seven months' data collection period. Statistical differences between the two groups were found on all variables but one, including the numbers and kinds of clinical problems encountered, the skills reported, levels of responsibility, continuity of patient care, and types of patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Minnesota
  • Preceptorship*
  • Rural Health