• AAFP Rural Health

    Rural Health

    Almost a quarter of the U.S. population lives in a rural area. And disparities between health outcomes and rural residents continue to increase. About 17 percent of AAFP members live and work every day in rural America and deeply understand the realities rural communities face in order to remain prosperous and vibrant. The AAFP understands that rural communities' needs are unique, oftentimes differing greatly from the realities of their urban counterparts.

    The AAFP is committed to helping improve rural health care across our country. And in summer 2019, the AAFP launched a plan to improve rural health. The AAFP Rural Health initiative will:

    1. Develop and implement an integrated AAFP Rural Strategy.
    2. Establish the AAFP as a leader for rural health and rural physicians.
    3. Influence policy and payment issues related to rural health.
    4. Address educational needs and resources for family physicians currently practicing in rural areas.
    5. Support recruitment of family physicians to rural areas including student choice, increase in residency positions, and support of residency programs.
    6. Create policy, collaboration, and resources for family physicians to improve rural health disparities.


    Get the latest evidence-based guidelines in a range of topics pertinent to rural family medicine practice. View all CME activities.

    Recent News and Blogs from AAFP News


    Member Stories: AAFP Members Tout Rural Family Medicine

    AAFP members from 24 states shared their experience as rural family physicians during the Rural Health initiative Hometown Radio Interviews, which were recorded during FMX. Conducted by radio broadcasting professional Christopher Michael, who has more than 25 years of on-air experience, the interviews were distributed to radio stations in participants’ home towns and to regional and national networks, reaching a total audience of more than 56.6 million listeners in 24 states. Click here to listen to a sample interview.

    Promoting Telehealth in Rural America

    Telehealth has the potential to increase access to care, facilitate care coordination and ensure that patients receive timely care in areas where health facilities are limited.

    Rural Health Clinic Modernization Act of 2019

    Rural health clinics are the lifeline for millions of Americans. Family physicians who practice in these settings face challenges unique to their location, outdated regulations and low payments. In identical letters to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the AAFP advocates for passage of the Rural Health Clinic Modernization Act of 2019, which would improve rural patients’ access to care by improving payment and allowing greater flexibility for rural clinics.  

    Partner Spotlight

    In conjunction with the launch of the Rural Health initiative, the AAFP joined with more than 250 organizations across the country to become a working partner in the Rebuild Rural Infrastructure Coalition. A major focus of the initiative will be partnering with organizations that are focused on rural initiatives, allowing the AAFP to share best practices and resources, helping family physicians not only support but elevate health for everyone in their communities.

    AAFP Rural Health News

    Join the Discussion

    Rural Health Member Interest Group

    Grow connections among AAFP members with a distinct interest in rural health when you join the Rural Health MIG.

    Join the Rural Health MIG Online Community

    Visit the Rural Health online community to connect with other AAFP members who share your professional interests.

    AAFP Partners