The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine initiated the C(COM) Rural Iowa Scholars Program (CRISP) to address the increasing physician shortage in rural areas of the state. There are more than 360 Health Professional Shortage Areas in Iowa, mostly in rural areas. The maldistribution of physicians is predicted to increase in the coming years as fewer than 9 percent of physicians practice in rural areas nationally.
CRISP is a comprehensive program that begins in the summer before students enter medical school and continues throughout medical school. The goal is to attract, educate and inspire future rural physicians who will help Iowa meet its need for health care in rural areas of the state.
Started in 2012, CRISP was designed with the input of clinicians who are practicing in rural areas or who have strong interest and experience in rural medicine. By working closely with physicians who understand the issues facing practitioners in rural areas to design the program, the curriculum ensures participants gain the breadth and depth of experience and knowledge to maximize the likelihood of a successful career in rural medicine.