Can rural interest open doors at OOS unfriendly schools?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


New Member
Apr 29, 2023
Reaction score
Hello all,

As the title implies, I have a very great passion for rural healthcare. It’s my main reason for going into medicine, I have a hard time seeing myself practicing in anything other than a rural or rural accessible setting. Growing up in Appalachia in a rural area that was still within reach of the suburbs, I’m very well versed in this healthcare disparity and just how drastic it is and how just one or a few physicians can make a huge difference. I am doing volunteering activities related to rural care and plan on making it a significant theme on my application - it would be disingenuous not to - so, for any school that comes across my application, this interest and commitment would be obvious. Unfortunately, most medical schools with good rural programs are also heavily biased against out of state students. I am particularly interested in FSU, ETSU, UTMB, and UK - all of which I am extremely unlikely to even be considered for admissions as a nonresident without close ties to the state. I’ve heard from several people that showing an interest in rural care to schools who are committed to the issue can lift this out of state barrier - is this true? (Of course, I’m not postulating that I would be held in the same esteem as a state resident, simply that my application would go from an immediate rejection to one that could be considered seriously.) If it helps, I am a PA resident, and I can’t reasonably claim close ties with any other state. Thanks for your responses!

Members don't see this ad.
I don't think so for those schools. FSU in particular does not accept OOS students.

You might have more interest at West Virginia, Virginia Tech, and the Tufts Maine program. Geisinger should be a priority though.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
I was a Texas applicant with a heavy rural background and interest who applied in 2021 and I got MD interviews at Central Michigan and Wright State, both of those schools had rural emphasis or rural medicine programs. It came up in my interviews as well so I actually think it can help! I had no ties to either of those states or schools which are normally OOS unfriendly because they're public schools. I also had really low stats for MD so maybe my rural interest helped grant me an interview I wouldn't have otherwise gotten. If you have the money and time to do extra applications at schools with rural programs it can't hurt imo even if they're OOS unfriendly. I thought I had zero chance at both of these schools and was wasting my time/money but here I am attending one of them. Good luck!
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users