Rural Medicine Program

The Rural Medicine Program is a five- year medical school curriculum with the sole purpose of training physicians to serve in the areas of greatest necessity – rural and small town Alabama.

The RMP began in 2006 after concerned physicians on the Alabama Family Practice Rural Health Board developed the Project to Recruit Rural Medical Students in response to the severe lack of physicians in rural Alabama.   RMP is a jointly sponsored program by the Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics and UAB School of Medicine Huntsville Regional Campus.

The RMP program is as follows:

                Year 1:          Auburn University pre-matriculation  course with classes specifically designed for the 
                                     academic  needs of each individual student .

               Years 2&3:     UABSOM regular medical school classes in the basic sciences at the Birmingham 
                                     campus with extracurricular activities emphasizing rural medicine.  

                Years 4&5:    Clinical rotations at UABSOM Huntsville Regional Campus with special courses and 
                                     rotations in the field of rural medicine.                               

The RMP curriculum promotes Family Medicine by providing for students to attend the annual meetings of the Alabama Academy of Family Practice and the National Student American Academy of Family Practice. Students also participate in the Medical Association of the State of Alabama’s annual Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., where they are introduced to the U.S. Surgeon General and members of Alabama’s congressional delegation.  Involvement in the AAFP, MASA and Family Medicine Interest Group broadens the students’ medical school experience both in education and community service.                                                                          

The goal of providing Family Medicine and Primary Care Physicians to rural areas underlies the entire RMP curriculum. It takes a special person to answer the calling to a life of service to his fellow man but as Mother Teresa said, “A life not lived for others is not a life”.

  Areas shaded are short of primary care doctors  
"Practicing medicine in a rural community gave me a true sense of how important a family physician is to the individual patient, patient families and to the community as a whole."  -  Dr. Keith Bufford, Medical Director


“The year at Auburn immersed me not only in fundamental science courses, but also in the clinical aspects of medicine. I believe this combination provided me with the tools needed to excel in medical school."  – Fuller McCabe, RMP student

Alabama-map "The graduates from this program should have a deep understanding of the issues facing rural communities, and be in a position to provide medical care to those many Alabama residents who need it most."  -  Dr. Larry Wit, Program Director, COSAM Associate Dean


"This is THE program for rural medicine students who wish to continue their lifestyle and practice comprehensive personalized medicine in non-urban Alabama." 
William H. Coleman, M.D., Ph.D., Program Director UABSOM
Preparing You to Help Your Neighbor