Exploration of Remote Didactics at Rural Family Medicine Training Programs

Ying Zhang, Tessa E. Moore, Amanda Weidner, Viet Nguyen, Randall Longnecker, David Schmitz, Keri Bergeson, David V. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Distance learning is a feasible and effective method of delivering education, especially in rural settings. Few studies focus on remote learning in graduate medical education. This study explores remote didactic practices of rural family medicine programs in the United States. METHODS: We conducted an electronic survey of rural family medicine residency site directors across the United States. We completed sample analyses through descriptive statistics with an emphasis on descriptions of current didactic practices, facilitators, and challenges to implementation. RESULTS: The overall response rate was 38% (47/124) for all participants from rural residency programs, representing 28 states. About 24% of rural training track (RTT) participants reported no shared remote didactics between urban and rural sites. More than half of RTT participants (52%) reported remote virtual didactics were either not shared between urban and rural site or were shared less than 50% of the time. Top challenges to implementing remote shared didactics were lack of appropriate technology (31%) and lack of training for faculty and residents in delivery of remote didactics (31%). Top facilitators included having technology for the remote connection (54%), a faculty cham-pion (42%), and designated time to develop the curriculum (38%). CONCLUSIONS: There is potential for improving shared remote didactic ses-sions between rural and urban sites for family medicine RTTs, which may enhance efficiency of curriculum development across sites and maximize op-portunities for bidirectional learning between urban and rural sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-368
Number of pages7
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
supported by the BHW, HRSA, HHS under cooperative agreement #UH1HP29966.

Funding Information:
supported by the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under cooperative agreement #UH1HP29966. The information, conclusions, and opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and no endorsement by BHW, HRSA, or HHS is intended or should be inferred. We also acknowledge grant support (UL1 TR002319, KL2 TR002317, and TL1 TR002318 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences/National Institutes of Health) for the electronic platform REDCap, which we used for survey data collection and storage for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.


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