Nursing Workforce Information Center

Rural Initiative


The Utah Medical Education Council (UMEC) addresses the needs of rural Utah through its workforce studies; job board & job fairs; and through the Rural GME program.

  • Workforce Studies - Identifying rural workforce issues

Analysis of the availability and characteristics of health care professionals in rural Utah is an integral part of the workforce studies conducted by the UMEC. This serves as a first step towards UMEC's rural initiative - improving access for health care professionals in rural Utah.

  • Health Professional Job Board & Job Fairs - Means to attract health care workforce to rural Utah

UMEC maintains job boards for Physicians, Physician Assistants (PAs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). These job boards list more than 200 opportunities in Utah, a good portion of which are available in rural areas.

UMEC organizes annual job fairs for Physicians and advanced practitioners (PAs and APRNs) being trained in Utah. Apart from scheduling the fairs to facilitate exhibitors recruiting for rural hospitals and clinics, the UMEC also offers exhibition space to rural recruiters at discounted prices.

  • Rural GME - One way to encourage physicians to practice in rural areas

To encourage residents to set up practice in rural areas, the UMEC created rural residency training opportunities in obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery and increased opportunities in family medicine over the past two years. Ten communities outside of the Wasatch Front participate in the rural training established by the Council, including Cedar City, Heber, Logan, Manti, Moab, Montezuma Creek, Nephi, Price, St. George, and Vernal.

UMEC believes that rural training affords residents the chance to experience rural life and see first hand the nature of rural practice, thereby improving chances of these physicians' return to rural Utah for practice. For this, UMEC provides financial support to accommodate both residents and faculty.

UMEC Financial Support for Residents

To encourage residents and their families to participate in rural rotations, the UMEC covers housing, travel and per diem. This may include:

  • Housing costs for resident and family members at the rural site in the most appropriate setting available includes motels, bed and breakfast, leased houses or apartments.
  • Travel costs incurred by the resident are reimbursed at the federally established mileage rate.
  • Per diem costs for the resident are paid at the state established rates.

If family members remain in the urban site, the UMEC will pay meals, lodging, and mileage for them to make two trips to the rural site during the rotation period. The goal is to give the resident and family as much rural experience as possible during the 30 day period.

UMEC Financial Support for Faculty

  • The UMEC pays for department faculty to travel to rural sites to participate in the assessment, consult with the rural preceptor and others who become adjunct faculty, review with the resident the educational objectives and how they are being accomplished, and seek ways to enhance the quality and value of the rural rotations in the total educational experience.

  • Rural preceptors may spend a few days at the urban center working with department faculty to establish communications, and build trust and a collegial base for enhancing the shared responsibility of providing a good training experience for each resident. The UMEC will pay the following costs for the rural preceptors to enable them to take advantage of this opportunity: travel, lodging, per diem, and a replacement locum tenens physician to provide services and maintain the revenue stream at the rural site.

A summary on the rural rotations funded by the UMEC since 2007 can be found here: UMEC Rural Rotation Summary, 2007-2016

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