National conference to attract rural medical education leaders to Athens
(ATHENS, Ohio — Mar. 27, 2014) Approximately 70 medical educators from
across the country will gather at the Ohio University Inn April
16-18 for the 2014 Rural Training Tracks Conclave, sponsored by the
RTT Collaborative and the Ohio University Heritage College of
Focused upon the theme “Common Ground,” the 2014 RTT Conclave will
bring together osteopathic and allopathic medical educators and
other professionals interested in training medical students and
residents in rural places. Randall Longenecker, M.D., FAAFP,
assistant dean for rural and underserved programs at the Heritage
College and executive director of the RTT Collaborative, organized
the event to bring together diverse medical professionals with a
common goal of serving the underserved and creating a sustainable
rural physician workforce.
“My hope is that RTT Conclave attendees truly will find common
ground and set a tone of collaboration moving forward,” Dr.
Longenecker said. “Setting this tone for rural medical education may
very well lead the way for others in broader conversations around
other common concerns, such as transforming medical education in
Rural training track programs are designed to prepare primary care
physicians to practice in rural areas. Research shows that
physicians who train in rural areas and those whose training
emphasizes services necessary for working in rural areas are more
likely to go on to practice in these regions. Approximately 75
percent of the nation’s rural counties have primary care health
professional shortage areas, and many primary care physicians who
currently practice in rural areas are nearing retirement age.
Dr. Longenecker has assisted in the development and implementation
of multiple rural training track residency programs over the past 15
years. “Rural training track programs are creating pathways for
students who are committed to primary care,” Dr. Longenecker said.
“These medical student and residency programs are uniquely designed
to produce physicians who are prepared for practice in underserved,
Plenary speakers at the RTT Conclave include:
Andrew Bazemore, M.D., MPH, director of the Robert Graham Center
for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care in
Washington D.C., who will discuss the primary care needs of
rural America and how the RTT Collaborative is building a
workforce ready to address those needs
Ted Epperly, M.D., FAAFP, a national expert in rural medical
education and health reform from Boise, Idaho, will discuss the
clinical learning environment in rural medical education. Dr.
Epperly is board president of the RTT Collaborative, board
member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical
Education, and past president of the American Academy of Family
Physicians, which represents the nation’s 110,000 family
Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth Johnson, D.O., FAAO, who
will explore osteopathic medicine’s impact on rural medical
education and care.
“The RTT Conclave will bring together a committed, passionate and
intelligent group of individuals who are the right people to take on
the challenges of our deficient rural pipeline, and I am honored to
be a part of the conversation about shaping the solution,” Dr.
Bazemore said. “Athens is the perfect place to have this discussion
because the Heritage College has a track record of producing doctors
for rural America. To meet there is not only appropriate, but
The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a
national leader in training primary care physicians. The college is
number one in Ohio and 11th nationally in medical schools that
graduate physicians who practice in underserved rural areas.
The RTT Collaborative is a nonprofit network of medical education
programs from rural areas across the country. Through participation,
programs share expertise in developing and sustaining rural programs
and work together to solve problems and achieve common goals.
To learn more about the RTT Conclave, visit