MD Program

Contact the Rural Iowa Scholars Program

Michael Maharry, MD, Director

Laina Edwards, MME, Coordinator
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2600

Phone: (319) 335-6711
Fax: (319) 335-8643

  • CCOM Rural Iowa Scholars Program (CRISP)

    Program Description

     CRISP is a comprehensive program that focuses on rural medicine throughout medical school. Students begin the program in the summer before their first semester by shadowing a physician mentor in a rural community. Rural elements are then embedded in the medical education through mentorships, seminars, research, and electives. Required clerkships lay the foundation for developing skills necessary to succeed as a rural practitioner. Graduates are expected to practice in an eligible community in Iowa for a minimum of five years after they complete a qualifying residency.

    CRISP Curriculum

    Establishing Community Connections

    Shadowing experience with a physician in a rural community:
    •   1 week during the pre M1 summer
    •   2 days during M1 year

    Monthly interaction with a physician mentor throughout the four years of the medical program with in-person meetings at least twice each year. This will include focused discussions regarding career planning, especially during the final year of medical school.

    Medical Education in Community Orientation (MECO) program:

    During the summer after the first year, students will participate in a Medical Education in Community Orientation program in a rural setting. In this program, students are immersed in the medical community, spending 4 – 12 weeks in an Iowa community hospital observing and working with physicians.

    Field Experience:

    During the summer after the first year, students will participate in a 3-day field experience in rural medicine including relevant public health concerns in rural medicine.

    Ensuring Classroom Relevance

    Small group sections:

    CRISP students will work in small group format with faculty interested in rural medicine.

    Relevant courses:

    CRISP students will complete the Rural Health and Agricultural Medicine course in their 2nd year and a telemedicine elective in their 4th year.

    Seminar series:

    Each year, CRISP students will participate in the Rural Medicine Interest Group seminar series. Sessions will be held four times each year.

    Building Clinical Experiences

    Continuity of Care experiences:

    During the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year of medical school, students will complete at least two continuity of care experiences at a rural site. Specific activities designed to introduce the student to community life, health systems and rural cultures will be completed. Examples include:

    • Rural Practice and Lifestyle Practicum:  Introduction to a rural medical practice and the lifestyle of a physician in a rural community.
    • Pre-Clinical Preceptorship:  A clinical experience that will enhance understanding of the role of comprehensive, continuing family-oriented primary medical care in a rural setting.
    • Rural Primary Care Delivery:  A clinical experience in partnership with a physician in a rural setting that focuses on delivery of primary health care in a rural clinic.
    • Geriatrics:  A clinical experience focusing on the delivery of geriatric care in a rural clinical setting.

    CRISP students will complete 4-week clerkships at a rural site in both Primary Care and Family Medicine during the 3rd year. During the 4th year CRISP students will complete a 4-week Rural Medicine Elective clerkship.

    Breadth of knowledge:

    During the 3rd year, CRISP students will complete no fewer than 8 weeks of selectives in Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Urology, Electrocardiography, and Laboratory Medicine.

    Contributing to Medical Knowledge

    CRISP students will begin a community-based research project during their 2nd year of medical school. This project will continue through the 3rd and 4th year of medical school culminating in a Rural Capstone research project and presentation.

     Establishing Wider Professional Connections

    During the 4th year, CRISP students will attend a state or national conference in rural medicine. Students will be encouraged to participate in such conferences throughout their education. The research projects completed by students may be submitted for poster sessions or presentation at such conferences.