Rural Health Care Track FAQs
are the benefits of participating in the RHCT?
completion of all track requirements will result in a
designation of "Scholar in Rural Health Care" on the
student’s transcript and in the commencement program. A
certificate of completion will be issued at the time of
graduation along with the student’s UTMB diploma.
Participation will also be reflected in the student’s
MSPE ("Dean’s letter").
required to become an RHCT scholar?
To become an
RHCT scholar, you will complete 5-6 months of clerkship,
elective and selective experiences in a rural setting,
culminating with the completion of a scholarly project.
Throughout the 4 years of medical school, RHCT students
must attend a predetermined number of offerings
(lectures, workshops and/or seminars) that are designed
to provide specific training related to the practice of
rural medicine. RHCT opportunities exist during
the following curricular times:
► Summer block between Years 1 and 2,
► Year 3 (Family Medicine clerkship,
Pediatrics clerkship – ambulatory component,
Internal Medicine clerkship – ambulatory component,
elective month, December holiday month, and/or
cluster clerkships – 2 to 4 months in a community
completing multiple clerkship requirements),
► Year 4 allows for several experiences
through electives, selectives, and required credits
in an "Acting Internship", Ambulatory Community
Selective, and Basic Science and Humanities
Selective. Basic Science and Humanities Selective
credit may be obtained during activities related to
finalizing the scholarly project.
electives at another medical school apply for RHCT
approval by the Rural Health Care Track Committee would
be required, as would any requirements imposed by UTMB
Enrollment Services and the other medical school in
question. Many medical schools offer electives,
primarily to Year 4 students, which would provide an
excellent compliment to your RHCT focus.
availability of housing depends on the rural site
chosen. With enough advance notice, AHEC will often be
able to secure student housing in certain communities.
slots in the track limited? When do I need to
commit to the RHCT?
There is not
a limit to the number of students that can participate
in the RHCT. Year 2 and year 3 students are asked
to commit to participation by the end of Period 1 so
that adequate planning can be done to ensure all of the
"specialty track" requirements can be met.
students are asked to commit to the program by the end
of Year 1, prior to the beginning of the summer block
during which preclinical preceptorships are available
for enrollment. For all students, it is best to
communicate with a Co-Director as early as possible
regarding your needs in terms of preceptors, site
locations, Period(s) during which you wish to rotate at
a chosen site, and housing status.
for UTMB electives approved for RHCT credit is done via
e-connect. RHCT students are required to contact these
elective Course Directors 30 days in advance in order to
make plans to focus on an aspect of rural medicine as
part of the course. (see "UTMB Electives Approved for
RHCT Credit" link on the RHCT homepage for a list of
need to commit to a residency in primary care?
intending to apply for a residency in any field of
medicine are welcome to participate in the RHCT.
happens if I choose not to complete the RHCT?
other activities are open to interested students who do
not intend to complete the entire track. If one
commits to the RHCT and decides not to complete all
related requirements, all courses taken to that point
remain on the student's transcript, although recognition
as a "Rural Health Care Scholar" would not occur upon
the educational experiences I have in a rural health
setting be comparable to that in Galveston?
evaluations and focus groups with students having
completed rotations in rural settings in the past have
been overwhelmingly positive. Specific advantages cited
by students included:
► "I was
impressed that rural doctors have so much interaction
with community members and events that occur there.
Since there is so much continuity of care from birth to
old-age, across generations of families, the doctor is
treated with a great deal of respect and has an
► "Going on
► "It is very
important to develop trust among these patients who may
be indigent, not likely to seek medical care early,
and/or are immigrants."
deal with a wide range of problems, experience long-term
relationships with patients and families (continuity of
care), and could participate as a strong member of the
community by advocating and contributing to civic groups
►"This was an
adventure that made me discover an interest in rural
medicine I did not know about before."
participate in more than one SOM special program?
may participate in two special program tracks under the
► An overall
curricular plan is provided by the student and prior
approval is obtained from Directors of both program
Requirements for both tracks are met in full.
► No more
than two courses can apply to both tracks concurrently.
► A scholarly
project must be completed for both tracks or one very
large project including aspects of both programs can be
done after prior approval by both track Directors.