MED608M.41 (Other)
Advanced Clinical Experience in Rural Health Care

Office of Medical Education

  • Course Name: Advanced Clinical Experience in Rural Health Care
  • Short Name: MED608M.41 Rural Health Care
  • Course Number: MED608M.41
  • Location: Other
  • Department Contact: Patrick Enking M.S., PA-C, DFAAPA
  • Type: Clinical
  • Length: 4 Weeks
  • Dual Degree: MPH
  • Preceptor: Various physicians throughout the state of Nevada and selected sites in northern California.

Please contact the department to verify elective availability.


  • An immersion experience with a full range of clinical and community health advantages and challenges encountered by physicians in rural communities.
  • With the opportunity to increase his/her clinical knowledge and skills, develop problem-solving and decision-making skills in a rural or frontier setting where a medical/surgical specialist is seldom accessible.
  • The opportunity to better understand and experience of the struggles and health disparities rural citizens experience and the resources available or needed to support healthy communities.
  • Experience of providing concepts and guidelines for prevention of disease and injury and educate patients and families on activities to encourage health maintenance.
  • To witness and participate in a Telehealth or Project ECHO case presentation using technology available in the rural community.

Description of Rotation

MED 608 Advanced Clinical Elective in Rural Health Care clerkship offers third-year medical students a 4-week introduction to the role of the physician in a rural setting primarily in Nevada or California. This course specifically expects students to encounter populations of patients at risk for poor health outcomes due to issues surrounding access to care. Students will be assigned to a specific location, off campus, where they will team with an identified preceptor in order to experience issues related to practicing medicine or surgery in the rural community. Students may have several mentors at the assigned site.

This clerkship is expected to cover the medical, physiological, behavioral and psychosocial issues common to patients that are members of a rural community. Witnessing the health disparities will provide the student with a cultural understanding of the struggles that community members experience on a daily basis. Other principles that may be addressed during this clerkship include continuity of care, delivery of cost-effective quality care across state lines and identifying supplemental sources of care within the community.

Students are expected to immerse themselves in the preceptor's schedule (office/hospital/call/community) for the 4 weeks.


Links are included in Course Syllabus and include medical texts available at the Savitt Medical Library and Access Medicine.  

Evaluation Method

Each preceptor completes UNR Med's Clinical Performance Evaluation and submits it to the course coordinator for determination of the student's grade. Student completes Course Evaluation and Clinical Teaching Evaluation. Students wishing to obtain a grade of High Pass or Honors must submit and receive approval of a honors project proposal and document the experience.


  • Honors: An exceptional performance which exceeds all course objectives
  • High Pass: A performance which exceeds most course objectives
  • Pass: A performance which meets the course objectives
  • Fail: A performance which does not meet the course objectives

Special Notes

Four weeks are required; additional weeks, not to exceed 8, may be arranged. Limited to UNR Med students or Nevada residents from another accredited, US-based medical school or program (by permission) and with personal ties to a rural community. Assistance with housing will be offered in locations over 75 miles from campus but cannot be guaranteed for students outside of UNR Med.