Innovation in Rural Global Medicine (IRGmed)

IRGmed is a longitudinal, four-year elective offering medical students the opportunity to experience health care and health care delivery models in low resource settings.

Students accepted into the program gain a deep understanding of the barriers that exist in rural and global health care settings. Core to the elective involves developing innovative tools to solve fundamental problems. Students will draw from clinical experiences to solve real-world problems.

Participants also will:

  • Gain competency in interdisciplinary problem-solving
  • Learn about engineering design and process improvement
  • Experience austere medicine first-hand at one of many international sites
  • Understand the process of change management
  • Build relationships with their cohort

Curricular Overview

IRGmed spans all four years of medical school. Learning activities include lunch and learn seminars, medical colloquia, online learning, global rural health simulation training, a two-week immersive rotation at a global rural OR local rural site, and a capstone project.

M1-M2 — Seminars, online lectures and IRGmed colloquia (32 hours)
M2-M4 — Global Rural Health Simulation (80 hours)
— Austere Innovation (80 hours)
M3-M4 — IRGmed Capstone Project (40 hours)

Application Information

Apply (8/13/21 through 8/20/21)

Interviews: 9/2/21 or 9/8/21 (date/time will be assigned upon receipt of application)

Candidate selection and notification:9/17/21

Additional Information

  • Accepts 8-12 students per year
  • About 1/3 of the program is independent, self-directed
  • Students may concurrently enroll in IRGmed and UICOMP’s Rural Student Physician Program
  • This is a longitudinal elective. Credit is awarded in M4 year upon completion of requirements
  • PELE 606 (CRN Fall 41779; Spring 40250; Summer 21971)


Sarah de Ramirez, MD, MPH, MSc
Director, Rural Global Health Strategies
[email protected]

Nicole Robertson, MPH
Program Director
[email protected]