Tracks and Special Programs at Rocky Vista University

| Academics | Tracks and Special Programs | Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track


Not all tracks are available at all locations.

The goals of the 3.5-year Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track are to identify and foster student interest in eventual medical practice in rural settings. In addition to the unique educational opportunities, there are significant obligations associated with the track in the first 1.5 years, as well as in the clinical years of training. To be considered for the program, students must demonstrate commitment to rural and remote practice and be capable of handling the extra work load required by the track. Admission criteria includes an in-person interview by R&WM students and faculty.

Participants will be given a robust extracurricular education of procedural skills in medicine and surgery that will better prepare them for residency training and practice. Students in the Rural and Wilderness Track will be expected to participate in off-campus activities. Much of the track material will cover life and limb threatening emergencies. During the first 1.5-years of medical education, this training will occur using simulators, and shadowing opportunities. During the clinical years, students will train with rural-based medical preceptors in offices, rural critical-access hospitals, or rural health clinics for a minimum of four clinical clerkships.

Students will learn a hands-on experience, 5-6 credit track are exposed to a robust extracurricular education; learning skills applicable to medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, OB & more. This track may offer unique off-campus, rural and wilderness Experiential Field Activities (EFAs), during the first 2 years.  Then, students are required to complete 4 rural externships in their clinical years.


Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine has developed several specialized educational tracks and programs to further develop the education of interested students. These range from 3.5-year-long tracks to single-semester elective courses.

Student research/scholarly activity is a vital part of health provider education. Research enhances critical thinking skills and increases medical knowledge, as well as preparing students for graduate medical education. Therefore, all students are encouraged to participate in research activities while at RVU.

During their third and fourth years of medical school, students work on clinical clerkships, under the guidance of preceptors. RVU students have clerkships available to them through Colorado and the other Mountain West states.