ROME Rural Scholars Program

The ROME program at UNTHSC is an innovative educational program designed to prepare students for life and practice in a rural and underserved community.  Admission to the program will begin during the first semester of the first year.  This rural medicine curriculum includes academic activities and clinical experiences that will continue throughout all four years of undergraduate medical education.

Students accepted into the rural program, in addition to completing all regular curriculum courses during years 1 and 2, will have additional curriculum pertinent to rural and international medicine. These courses provide students with the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills needed for a career in rural medicine.  Goals of the additional curriculum in the first two years are to help prepare the student for more hands on patient care experiences and more independent learning in rural and international contexts.


Years 1 & 2
The Rural Medicine courses are completed in addition to the regular medical school curriculum during semesters 1-4 of years 1 and 2. The curriculum introduces issues of telemedicine, pathophysiology, and specific clinical problems and procedures relevant to rural medicine which present unique diagnostic and management issues.  Each session correlates with the study of a specific systems course. Each course is comprised of a variety of activities that may include classroom learning sessions, rural clinical correlations, rural topic presentations, skills lab, and clinical experiences. Emphasis is placed on special patient populations found in rural communities, rural environmental health risks and early clinical experiences.

Community Health Research Project
Each student will participate in a ROME research initiative. The initiatives will provide the student experience in “community responsiveness” and leadership through participation in research projects to address a relevant health concern in rural and underserved areas in Texas and internationally.

Clinical Rotations/Electives
The Year 3 core clinical clerkships for the Rural Scholars Program are designed to provide focused training which will prepare the student for the practice of medicine in a rural setting.  Students will be expected to spend their 3rd year outside the DFW Metroplex at designated rural-based training sites. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Program Director.

NOTE: The distribution, and sequencing of Year 3 clerkships are subject to change.

  • 12 weeks – Family Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
  • 8 weeks – Internal Medicine (Ambulatory and Hospital)
  • 6 weeks – General Surgery
  • 2 weeks – Patient Safety
  • 4 weeks – Pediatrics (Ambulatory and Hospital)
  • 4 weeks – Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • 4 weeks – Psychiatry
  • 8 weeks – Electives (2)

Rural Family Medicine/OMM Clerkship:  
A required twelve (12) week Year 3 core clerkship in Family Medicine and OMM that focuses on cognitive and behavioral skill building as well as procedural competency. This clerkship includes an intensive didactic and hands-on review of OMM. Students will incorporate OMT into the management of patients they see under supervision at their rural continuity site. All required elements of the 1 month OMM core Clerkship are integrated over the entire 12 weeks.