The state of Texas has a critical need for physicians in rural and underserved areas. The vision of the Office of Rural Medical Education at The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine is to address the need for Primary Care specialties, such as Family Medicine, Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, and General Internal Medicine; and General Surgery in rural Texas.
Since its inception in 1970, The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine has emphasized community based training with physicians throughout Texas being an integral part of our students’ clinical education. With the implementation of the Rural Family Medicine Track in1996, this emphasis was strengthened. Rural family medicine faculty throughout Texasformed a network of teaching sites that have provided students with ‘front line’ training and experience. Now, with the expansion from a family medicine only emphasis to abroader rural primary care focus, we will continue to address the training necessary forrural practice in any needed specialty. Our rural faculty not only serves as clinical instructors for third and fourth year clerkships, but also volunteers their time to deliver classroom presentations and teach procedural skills labs on the UNTHSC campus.
The Office of Rural Medicine Education offers the innovative, in-depth, Rural Scholars Program to prepare students for the practice of medicine in a rural environment. Participation in this program is competitive and is designed specifically for those students committed to establishing a foundation for a future practice serving rural populations. Every day across the U.S. rural doctors take care of their communities…one family at a time. Our” ROME” students are learning this commitment and have distinguished themselves with a high level of performance and professionalism when they go to rural sites. The enhanced public health content in our Rural Scholars curriculum is another opportunity for these students to attain advanced skills in the community based health care.
With the current emphasis in Medical Education on competency based assessment and Entrustable Professional Activities, we expect our students to achieve not only the expected competencies of the regular TCOM curriculum but enter residency with attitudes, competencies, and skills superior to their peers.
We are pleased to be an integral part of educating high caliber physicians to help build astrong infrastructure for healthcare for rural Texas and to “create solutions for healthier rural communities.”
John R. Bowling, DO
Assistant Dean of Rural Medical Education