Educators and researchers have sought for decades to understand how to attract more primary care providers to rural areas and prepare them better for rural practice.

Over the years research has demonstrated that how and where clinicians are educated is an important factor in future rural practice. Expanding the evidence base for what works in rural health professions education is clearly needed.

As the Collaborative for Rural Primary care Practice, Research, Education and Practice (Rural PREP), our mission is to improve and sustain rural health through community engagement and research in primary care health professions education.

We bring together individuals and organizations who are involved in the RTT Collaborative, which grew out of the Rural Training Track Technical Assistance Program (RTT TA). Rural PREP is the next step, as we continue to build an evidence base of research in medical education and extend it to other health professions engaging in primary care.

Our shared vision has come from having worked together since 2010, implementing the RTT TA program and completing a series of research projects from that program and the ongoing work of the University of Washington’s WWAMI Rural Health Research Center.

The notion of a “collaborative” is that solutions arise from a community of practice, not from a single center or entity.