Rural Observation Experience (ROE)

The Rural Observation Experience (ROE) is a 2-3 day shadowing experience with a rural family physician.  Students see first-hand the rewards and challenges of rural medicine.

Any incoming first-year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School, may apply. There are no prerequisites and all students who apply will be placed (depending on ROE site availability).

ROE was started in 1993, this is the 25th year running. Many of the ROE past participants have gone on to participate in SIM and then in RPAP.

2018 Dates:

  • Student and Site Application due in June 22, 2018
  • Student notification of placement: by July 9, 2018
  • Orientation: July 12, 2018 from noon-1:00 pm (Twin Cities campus in-person) or July 12, 2018 from 2:00-3:00 pm (online)
  • ROE Program Timeframe: 2-3 days, between July 14th-August 17th, 2018
  • Debrief: September 2018 (exact date TBD)

Students in the ROE are matched up with a physician at a clinic in rural MN. The student will shadow the physician at the clinic, on rounds, or at the hospital and nursing homes. The student and the physician will negotiate the length of the ROE experience; a 2-3 day experience is typical. Students are provided room at the physician’s home or in the hospital and become involved with the social life of the community. Participants will only need to provide their own transportation and meals.

*Participants in 2018 must be able to commit to the July 2018 Orientation (either in-person or online). Participants also need to be available to spend 2-3 days at the assigned clinic between July 14th-August 17th, 2018, before the start of Medical School.


If you are interested in participating in the 2018 Rural Observation Experience (ROE), apply online:

ROE Application - 2018

Or you may contact the RPAP Office at 612-624-3111 or e-mail: