Rural Community Health Program

MSU College of Human Medicine’s Leadership in Rural Medicine (LRM) Program is a comprehensive rural health certificate training program designed to prepare future rural physicians to develop and to practice within evolving community-based rural health networks. The Traverse City Campus is one of the community campuses hosting a program under this umbrella, the Rural Community Health Program (R-CHP).

Students selected for R-CHP are assigned to an existing MSU College of Human Medicine community campus and to a rural educational site, which consists of a rural hospital, the surrounding medical community and the local public health department. Students split their clinical training between these two communities, living and working within their rural educational site for up to 26 weeks throughout the four years of medical school.

How It Works

During the first two years of medical school, R-CHP students attend the Rural Leadership Seminars, held twice per semester. These seminars are an opportunity to get to know your fellow classmates, learn about serving in rural communities, and become better prepared for the remainder of medical school and beyond.

During years three and four of medical school, students receive clinical experiences at both their community campus and at their rural educational site. By returning to the same rural site repeatedly throughout their third year, students form relationships within that community and gain an understanding of how care is networked.

During the fourth year, students return to a rural site to complete two four-week electives tailored to their career interests. Students follow patients longitudinally throughout this experience, maximizing procedural exposure and continuity of care.

For more information, contact Christy LaVene, Rural Community Health Program Coordinator at