Rural Undeserved Opportunities Program

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The Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP) is a program of the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSM) in partnership with the WWAMI Programs and AHECs in Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Wyoming and Washington.

RUOP is a four-week, elective immersion experience and an opportunity for students between the second anf third terms of medical school to be placed with a physician preceptor in a rural or small city underserved clinical site. During their 4-week rotation, students live in rural or small city underserved communities throughout Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. They work side-by-side with local physicians providing health care to underserved populations.

RUOP encourages primary care careers in underserved communities by providing students with hands-on experiences in clinical practices; in addition to positive exposure to the rural or underserved community. Preceptors are practicing physicians in rural sites or small city clinics serving the underserved. Physicians serving as preceptors are typically primary care physicians (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology and General Practice providers).

In 2016

  • Approximately 100 Montana physicians volunteered their time to precept RUOP students.
  • 36 medical students from the WWAMI region did clinical rotations in Montana through RUOP. All of these participants were Montana WWAMI students.

For more information, contact Lisa Benzel, Montana WWAMI TRUST Program Coordinator, at 406-660-0246, or