Impact of the rural physician associate program on workforce outcomes

Logan Butler, Mark E. Rosenberg, Yeng M Miller-Chang, Jackie Gauer, Emily Melcher, Andrew P.J. Olson, Kirby Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) at the University of Minnesota Medical School (UMMS) is a 9-month rural longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC) for third-year medical students built on a foundation of family medicine. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between participation in the RPAP program and the desired workforce outcomes of practice in Minnesota, primary care specialty (particu-larly family medicine), and rural practice. METHODS: We analyzed workforce outcomes for UMMS graduates who completed postgraduate training between 1975 and 2017, comparing RPAP partici-pants (n=1,217) to noparticipants (n=7,928). We identified graduates through internal UMMS databases linked to the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Masterfile and the National Provider Identifier (NPI) registry. We identified workforce outcomes of rural practice, practice in Minnesota, primary care specialty, and family medicine specialty based on practice specialty and practice location data available through the AMA and NPI data sets. RESULTS: Proportionally, more RPAP graduates practice in state (65.7% vs 54.4%, P<.01), in primary care (69.0% vs 33.4%, P<.01), in family medicine (61.1% vs 17.3%, P<.01), and rurally (41.2% vs 13.9%, P<.01) than non-RPAP graduates. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate a significant association between participation in RPAP and a career in family medicine, rural practice, and primary care, all outcomes that promote meeting urgent rural workforce needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)864-870
Number of pages7
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
provided by the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Academic Investment Educational Program grants through M Health Fairview.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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