RHPP seeks to recognize students demonstrating strong commitment to future rural medical practice. Students accepted into the RHPP Certificate of Distinction will be designated RHPP Scholars as they undertake a four-year course of preparation that includes seminars, mentorship, rural clerkship and pre-clerkship clinical experience, among other requirements. In addition to the advanced medical preparation, completion of the program will lead to a Dean’s Letter notation and a Certificate of Distinction in Rural Health recognition on the student's transcript.


The RHPP scholar completes a short application by October 15 of Year 1. Prior to completing the application, students may attend sessions of the Seminar Series. This provides an opportunity to weigh their interest in rural health ahead of the application deadline. RHPP staff weights criteria such as growing up in a rural setting, expressing a credible desire to go into rural practice and planning a primary care or general surgery career; factors that have been the best predictors of future rural medical practice.

Acceptance into the Scholars program is not possible after the application deadline. However, the educational resources of RHPP are available at all levels of medical school training to all College of Medicine – Phoenix students.

Program Details

Year 1 and 2

  • Application to Certificate of Distinction in Rural Health Professions Program.
  • Initiate mentored Scholarly Project on rural relevant subject.
  • Seminar Series: ungraded lectures, group discussion, and web based learning modules.
  • Rural Health Huddles: small group meetings with mentors to build community and commitment to rural health issues.
  • Four-week summer rural pre-clinical experience (during PAL block).

Year 3

  • A minimum of 15 weeks of rural clerkship experiences from a variety of specialties, including family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, emergency medicine and psychiatry. 

*Specifics depend on what is available at that site.

Year 4

  • Four weeks Emergency Medicine Clerkship.
  • Electives.
  • Dean's Letter recognition.
  • Certificate of Distinction noted on transcript.

*Pending site availability