• Rural Health Care in Medical Education

    The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends the following:

    • That medical education include curricula and experiences for students and residents that are pertinent to careers in rural medicine.
    • That medical schools that focus on graduating rural physicians receive federal and state funding to incentivize these efforts.
    • That graduate medical education funding be redesigned to give direct and increased support to rural-based residency training programs, including teaching health centers.
    • That the design of curricula by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) offer increased flexibility to enhance physician training with the needed skills for all aspects of family medicine, including rural practice.

    The AAFP supports partnerships between academic medical centers and rural communities to train rural physicians. These partnerships should be encouraged by financial incentives on the state and federal level. They should also be supported by the AAFP constituent chapters.

    The AAFP recognizes that increasing the family physician supply will increase the rural physician supply, since family physicians are more likely than any others to enter rural practice. Thus, the AAFP supports legislative initiatives that support family medicine education, such as Title VII of the United States Public Health Service Act, Teaching Health Centers, and the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) system. Preferences and priorities for Title VII funding should specifically encourage the production of rural physicians.

    The AAFP and National Rural Health Association have developed a joint statement that supports the above conclusions.  (B1991) (July 2020 BOD)