A fellowship in rural family medicine: program development and outcomes

Fam Med. 1997 Jun;29(6):414-20.


Background and objectives: Many strategies have been used by academic institutions to address the shortage of rural family physicians. Fellowship training in rural family medicine represents one approach.

Methods: Tacoma Family Medicine developed a fellowship program of this type. Five years of operations are described, including applicants, educational outcomes, rural outcomes, and adverse outcomes.

Results: An adequate applicant pool does exist, composed of both applicants from residency and from practice. A curriculum of advanced obstetrics, electives, and a rural experience has been successful. Unforeseen problems included a strained relationship with family practice residents in the program and competition for community preceptors.

Conclusions: Family practice residencies with a mission of rural training are encouraged to consider the strategy of a rural fellowship.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Fellowships and Scholarships*
  • Humans
  • Professional Practice Location
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Rural Health Services*
  • Washington
  • Workforce