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Rural Physician Leadership Program

The Rural Physician Leadership Program (RPLP) is a program developed jointly with the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Medicine, St. Claire HealthCare and Morehead State University. The first two years of basic science education are completed at UK's main campus in Lexington. Clinical experiences in years three and four will occur mainly at St. Claire Regional Medical Center and other sites in rural, Eastern Kentucky. Clinical rotations will be similar to UK—block rotations with internal medicine, surgery, psychiatry, emergency medicine, neurology, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology. The family medicine rotation involves attending a family medicine clinic one half-day a week for the entire year. Students will have opportunities to do electives in Lexington and at other sites in the fourth year should they wish to gain experiences not available in a rural setting. Graduates will possess an MD degree with no restrictions on residency/fellowship opportunities. RPLP offers training in community health, epidemiology, debt management, and business skills through Morehead State University which is not offered in the Lexington program.

Click here to view the official webpage of the Rural Physician Leadership Program.


Who should apply?

Applicants to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine who are interested in practicing in a rural area upon completion of their training. Preference is given to in-state rural applicants but anyone with an interest in rural medicine can apply. Up to 12 students will be taken each year. The rural areas of the state need all specialties and graduates of the program are practicing in a number of fields including general surgery, internal medicine, family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and emergency medicine.

Where do the clinical rotations occur?

St. Claire Regional Medical Center is a 159-bed, community hospital located in Morehead, one hour from Lexington, Kentucky. The hospital has an ICU and critical care capability. Specialty care includes cardiology, nephrology, gastroenterology, hematology/oncology, palliative/hospice, pulmonary/critical care, psychiatry, podiatry, general surgery, orthopaedics, and urology. Students will interact with internal medicine, family medicine, and general surgery residents. In addition to outpatient clinics in Rowan and surrounding counties, the hospital maintains home health services. Other teaching sites include Mt. Sterling and Maysville.

Why have rural training?

RPLP emphasizes quality training in common diseases seen in the clinic and hospital. RPLP also emphasizes close relationships with faculty with lower student to faculty ratios than seen in tertiary care centers.

Are there scholarships or loans specific to the RPLP?

While there are scholarships and loan repayments available for students who practice in medically underserved areas, there are no scholarship funds available specifically for RPLP.


To learn more about the University of Kentucky Rural Physician Leadership Program please contact Bodie Stevens: