Frontier And Rural Medicine (FARM), our rural track medical student program, is a unique opportunity for a select group of Pillar 2 students to receive nine months of their clinical training in rural communities.
The Sanford School of Medicine has long been recognized for our excellence in rural medical education: we are consistently ranked in U.S. News & World Report's top 10 medical schools for rural medicine. Our goal is to increase the number of primary care physicians who practice in rural South Dakota.
The FARM program affords students the opportunity for students to see the benefits of a rural lifestyle and experience the rewards and challenges of practicing in a rural community.
At their rural clinical sites, students participate in the full spectrum of rural medicine as they provide supervised care, following patients and their families over time in clinic, hospital and extended care settings. Training in rural communities offers medical students the opportunity to experience increased hands-on-education and gain an appreciation of the benefits of continuity in patient care. Students also develop strong bonds with instructors and other members of the healthcare team, who mentor them on the professional and personal aspects of being a physician and healthcare team member.
On-site specialty clinics, academic faculty visits, online cases, telemedicine and weekly didactic sessions are all used to help students learn.
While living and learning in their FARM community, students become engaged with their communities outside of the healthcare setting as well. In addition to providing health care services, students complete a community project that addresses a need within their community. Projects can include health education for youth and adults, community service projects, helping to establish ongoing community support projects and many others. Students receive support from partners such as the South Dakota Area Health Education Center, South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care and the South Dakota Academy of Family Physicians