Rural and Urban Scholars Pathways (RUSP)

Office of Rural and Underserved Programs


Athens campus RUSP Scholar, Alyssa Gerth (OMSIII), talks about why she values the RUSP program. 

Listen to RUSP students, Sandra Basil and Erika Wittkorn, talk about the Dublin campus.
Listen to RUSP student, Rachel Kamat, talk about the Cleveland campus.

RUSP Graduates

Rural & Urban Scholars Pathways students receive D.O. degrees

When the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine launched its Rural and Urban Scholars Pathways program in 2013, the purpose was simple: to prepare future physicians to practice in medically underserved communities.  With the addition of the 2019-2020 cohort, the total number of students participating in the RUSP program is 119 including all four years across all three campuses.

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RUSP Opportunities

Rural and Urban Scholars Pathways Students

  • Participate in Clinical Jazz, a longitudinal small group experience in leadership development and peer coaching with a focus on competencies for practice in an underserved setting, experiential place-based learning, and mentorship

  • Meet once per semester for an individualized education planning session with an assigned coach

  • Attend professional development workshops focused on (1) skill-building for a broad scope of practice, (2) problem solving with invited guests, and (3) other active exploration of issues relevant to rural and urban underserved practice

  • Engage in immersion experience between first and second years in a setting of relative austerity (possibly a global health experience)

  • Spend at least six months or the equivalent of curricular time in a rural or urban underserved setting

  • Complete a scholarly project relevant to the health of rural and urban underserved communities


Other Opportunities and Scholarships

  • RUSP students interested in practicing in rural settings are encouraged to apply to the Rural Health Scholars Retreat each fall ( open to students from all of Ohio’s medical schools)

  • RUSP will support any RUSP student in their application for scholarships offered by HCOM.


RUSP Application

Rural and Urban Scholars Pathways (RUSP) application is open.

Students are encouraged to download and review a PDF copy of the application in advance in order to know what documents are needed at time of submission.

Apply to RUSP For questions about the RUSP application process, please contact Dawn Mollica. For questions about the RUSP program, please contact Sharon Casapulla, Director of RUSP. 


Who We Are

Outstanding Educators

The RUSP program is lead by a small dedicated team of staff and faculty in Dublin, Cleveland and Athens.  To learn more about us click here.

RUSP students receive regular coaching from some of the top instructors in medicine, including the National Rural Health Association's  Educator of the Year and two who were named the  American Osteopathic Association's  Mentor of the Year.

Randy Longenecker portrait at Irvine

Randall Longenecker, MD, FAAFP

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Kropf lecturing to students

Katy Kropf, D.O. (’02)

Read about her