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Rural Residency Planning and Development (RRPD) Program

We provide funding to create new rural residency programs. Only two percent of residency training occurs in rural areas.1 We partner with the Bureau of Health Workforce to improve access to health care by funding programs to train more physicians in rural communities. Training physicians in rural areas increases the likelihood of practicing in a rural community.2

How does funding help RRPD grantees?

We award up to $750,000 (per grant) to support start-up costs to establish new rural residency programs. Grantees may use funding to cover accreditation costs, faculty development, and resident recruitment. This includes both direct and indirect costs.

How can my organization apply?

If eligible, you must show specific needs for:

  • Family medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Preventive medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • General surgery
  • Obstetrics and gynecology

Read about the most recent funding notice: HRSA-23-037. Please monitor for new funding opportunities.

What technical assistance do you provide?

The RRPD Technical Assistance (RRPD-TA) Program provides webinars, TA advisors, and toolkits to RRPD grantees. Limited free resources are available to other organizations interested in rural residency development, such as the new and improved Rural GME Hospital Analyzer tool (registration required).

Topics include:

  • Accreditation
  • Financing
  • Faculty development
  • Recruiting residents
  • Training residents (e.g., webinars, annual meeting, TA advisors)

What impact has RRPD had?

In FY 2019, we funded our first cohort of RRPD awards. Since then, HRSA awarded $43.4M to 58 organizations across 32 states and five medicine disciplines.

As of March 2023, award recipients:

  • Created 36 new accredited rural residency programs or rural track programs in family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, and general surgery;
  • Received approval for approximately 485 new residency positions in rural areas; and
  • 22 programs enrolled 184 resident physicians training in rural clinical settings 

Who are our award recipients?

We supported award recipients across 32 states.

Contact Us

Sheena Johnson
RRPD Program Coordinator

1United States Government Accountability Office. Graduate Medical Education: Programs and Residents Increased during Transition to Single Accreditor; Distribution Largely Unchanged. GAO-21-329. April 2021.

2 Hempel S, Maggard Gibbons M, Ulloa JG, Macqueen I, Miake-Lye I, Beroes J, et al. Rural Healthcare Workforce: A Systematic Review. VA Evidence-based Synthesis Program Reports. Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs; 2015. 79.1.

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