Program Description 

The UP Campus is the site for the Rural Physician Program, a Michigan State University College of Human Medicine rural health certificate program under the umbrella of the Leadership in Rural Medicine Certificate Programs. The goal of the program is to educate and train exemplary, compassionate medical students who will return and practice in our underserved areas. Our students will learn about the benefits and challenges of rural health care to prepare them for a future serving patients in rural communities.

Our campus is one of three clinical campuses offering community based, mission-focused curriculum to fulfill the LRM certificate. Clinical training sites are located in communities across the UP with the core clerkships primarily at UP Health System – Marquette. Students will also embark upon a four-week rural Family Medicine clerkship in a small UP community. 

Additional required and elective clinical clerkships may be fulfilled in Marquette or possibly at any of the college’s seven community campuses. Electives outside the college system should be scheduled through VSLO with educational institutions who participate in VSLO.

Rural Physician Program Application Process

The option to apply to the Rural Physician Program is on the secondary application where students can indicate interest in applying to the Rural Physician Program (RPP) and/or the Rural Community Health Program (RCHP) at the Traverse City and Midland community campuses. Both of these programs are part of the Leadership in Rural Medicine certificate program.

To apply for these programs, students will be required to complete two additional essays within the secondary application.  In these essays the applicants discuss their interests in rural medicine and highlight their personal characteristics and experiences that are consistent with becoming an excellent rural physician. RPP applicants should have interests and personality traits consistent with living in a smaller community and practicing in underserved, rural areas. The UP campus selects 10 students each year into the program.  Students will know prior to matriculation if they have secured a spot.

The Late Clinical Experience (LCE) in Years 3 and 4

RPP medical students who have passed the USMLE Step 1 exam will relocate to the city of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula to participate in their Late Clinical Experience (years 3 and 4). 
RPP students also have the option to participate in COMPASS, a wilderness and sports medicine curriculum that teaches students about treating patents sustaining emergent wilderness or sport related injuries in the field.

Applicant Qualifications

Only MSU College of Human Medicine students can apply to the Rural Physician Program. Competitive applicants must have outstanding qualifications for practicing in a rural area, with consideration given for previous rural life experiences, initiative, and the desire to become not only excellent physicians, but also community leaders. The Rural Physician Program strives to accept students who reflect the diversity of the College of Human Medicine's entering class. Qualified applicants may have an opportunity to come to Marquette/UP Campus for an interview.  Decisions for acceptance into the program are usually made by the end of April.

For more information, please contact the UP campus:

MSU College of Human Medicine Upper Peninsula Education Corporation
850 W. Baraga Avenue | Marquette, MI 49855
Phone: (906) 228-7970 Fax: (906) 228-5734


Michigan State University | College of Human Medicine | Upper Peninsula Education Corporation
850 W. Baraga Avenue | Marquette, MI 49855 | 906-228-7970
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