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Clinical sites chosen for School of Medicine's FARM program

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Five South Dakota communities have been selected as the first clinical sites for the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine’s Frontier and Rural Medicine (FARM) program. The locations are: Milbank, Mobridge, Winner, Platte and Parkston. Selection of the communities utilized a competitive request for proposals process that was widely distributed. Among eligibility requirements, communities needed to have populations of fewer than 10,000 people.

The program expands the Sanford School of Medicine’s class size to address rural health care needs in the state and is part of Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s Workforce Initiative Program (WINS).

“We are tremendously excited about the opportunities that this program will provide our students as they are exposed to the rewards of practicing primary care medicine and living in a rural community,” said Susan Anderson, M.D., director of the FARM program.

The FARM program is a unique opportunity for a select group of medical students to obtain nine months of clinical training in a rural community. Active engagement in the community will be an important part of student experiences. This will include design and implementation by the student of a project to address a local health care concern. The ultimate goal of this immersive experience is to increase the number of primary care physicians who practice in rural South Dakota

During the coming months up to six students will be selected for the program. According to Anderson, those who participate will benefit from involvement in the care of patients in a rural setting, which can provide unique challenges.

Anderson expects the program to generate high interest among medical students and hopes to eventually expand the program into additional rural communities throughout the state.

“The number of inquiries we have already received from students indicates excitement about the program,” she said. “We anticipate strong participation and growth in the coming years.”

For more information about the FARM program, please visit


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News