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Summer Rural Program

The Summer Training Option in Rural Medicine is a University of Kansas Medical Center Department of Family Medicine sponsored elective rotation for medical students. It involves active clinical training as well as health promotion and disease prevention research in rural primary care settings in cities and towns across the state of Kansas. The summer of 2010 marked the eighteenth consecutive year that the program has operated out of the University of Kansas Medical Center, Department of Family Medicine. The program placed twenty-nine medical students at rural sites across the state of Kansas. Before students were dispersed to the rural clinics they spent a week of clinical orientation and research training at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City and attended the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians (KAFP) annual meeting in Overland Park, KS. They spent the next six weeks working with primary care physician preceptors in clinical sites, where they also contributed to several research projects. The program concluded at the end of July, and the students returned to their second year medical school.

The Summer Training Option in Rural Medicine is funded by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, J.H. Baker Trust, Sutton Family Fund, Kansas Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, and the KU School of Medicine.We would also like to extend our gratitude to each of our physician preceptors who gave up their time and educational energy to ensure the success of this program for those students with an aptitude and interest in primary care and rural practice. This program could never succeed without the dedication of our preceptors and we want to be sure that they realize that we are all, from students to faculty researchers, in their debt. We feel this program continues to provide a unique learning opportunity for students to advance clinical skills and to begin to understand the complexity of clinical practice. It also offers students a chance to understand the rewards of such practice and the fulfillment a physician receives from providing direct service to patients and families in the community setting. We believe participants in this program will be able to share their enthusiasm with their peers in medical school. Furthermore, our prior study and analysis indicates that students who have participated in this program are more likely to pursue residencies in primary care and ultimately become part of the rural primary care workforce in the State of Kansas.

Summer Training Option in Rural Medicine (STORM): Summer of 2017

Summer Students 2017

Michael Kennedy, MD, FAAFP, Associate Dean for Rural Health Education and STORM Director  


This past summer medical students from KUMC completed the 26th year of this program. The program began in 1992 and with that landmark birthday, came a name change to better reflect the purpose. The original name was the Rural Summer Primary Care Practice and Research Program was changed to "Summer Training Option in Rural Medicine" (STORM). It continues to be one of the most popular electives in medical school. In the 26 years, 670 students have participated.

Students Suturing Pigs Feet:

Training 1

Training 2


Program Summary:

This past summer 37 students went to 41 different preceptors in 30 communities (see maps). The program is offered in the summer between first and second years of medical school. The students reported having a fantastic time. They not only learned about medicine, but they learned about people, practicing with limited resources and themselves. 

STORM Map                                                                                                                        

Each year we recruit new sites to host students. There are 12 (3 in NW) new volunteer faculty preceptors for the program this summer. One preceptor has taken a student 20 out of the 26 years. There are a total of 260 volunteer preceptors that have participated in the program since it began. Interest in the program by students and preceptors continues to grow over the years (see graph). The program is primarily directed toward students with rural backgrounds and stated interests in rural practice. However, every year students with urban backgrounds are placed in rural settings to "try it out". There were eight students with urban backgrounds this year who reported no prior rural experience.

Eighteen of the students who participated this year were from the Kansas City campus. Five of the students have elected the Kansas City followed by Wichita option. Nine of the students are on the Wichita campus. There were six students from the Salina campus this year.



Because the students are away from their residence for 7 weeks, our program offers a stipend to help cover the cost of maintaining their home while they are away. Stipends represent the majority of the financial burden for STORM. Several contributors make the program possible. The JH Baker Trust has sponsored the program from the beginning and continues to support the students, providing $36,000 last year. The Dane G Hansen Foundation provided $50,000 in funds that also directly applied to student stipends. Other funders included the Sutton Family Fund through the KUEA and the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians Foundation. In addition to providing funds the KAFP also hosted the students at the annual meeting. The teaching time of the doctors is donated. Students also receive training in research techniques and complete the human subjects training course. Lastly, students attended the KAFP Annual Meeting in a breakout session called "Latex to Laryngoscopes". In these sessions, they learn more suturing techniques, OB and delivery skills, gown and glove methods, intubation and airway, and a session on EKG and chest x-ray interpretation.

Future Plans:

Thanks to tremendous support from the funders of this program, it was another fantastic year on the plains of Kansas in the summer of 2017! We have steadily grown the number of student participating in the last 6 years. There are plans to continue to increase the number of participants to accommodate all students interested in this extraordinary rural experience. We look forward to the years to come. We continue to strongly recruit new volunteer preceptors. 

Student Reflection Papers of Their Experience

 Vanessa Armendariz 

 Luke Hance

 Ryan Hoang

Last modified: Jan 10, 2019
Contact Us

Jennifer McKenney
Jennifer McKenney
Associate Dean for Rural Health Education

Richard Fox
Richard Fox, D.O.
Assistant Dean for Rural Health Education

Neesa Montoya, Administrator
Neesa Butler
Program Manager

Courtney Darrah
Courtney Darrah
Administrative Assistant

FAX: 913-588-5259
3022 Murphy
Mail Stop 2001
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160