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Rural Internal Medicine Maine (RIMM) Track

A unique internal medicine residency program that blends experiences of training at an urban tertiary care center, MMC in Portland, and Stephens Memorial Hospital (SMH) in Norway.
Listen to what RIMM resident, Dr. Sam Ferguson, has to say about his experience at Stephens Memorial Hospital.

Our Goals

  • To better meet our society’s healthcare needs by addressing rural physician workforce shortages and rural health disparities, with a particular focus on Maine’s rural communities.
  • To provide an innovative training model which prepares internal medicine residents for practice in a rural community.

The rural internist as generalist and specialist

In addition to preparation for office and hospital-based general internal medicine practice, RIMM Track residents will have the opportunity to gain advanced training in the evaluation and management of specific medical conditions often managed by medical subspecialists in more urban areas.

Procedure training for the rural internist

RIMM Track residents will have the opportunity to gain additional experience in the procedures that meet their individual career goals and the needs of their future rural community.

Rural population health and rural health disparities

RIMM Track residents will develop the skills necessary to assess and improve the health of rural populations within their practice and community.

Teamwork and leadership in rural practice

RIMM Track residents will learn the skills needed to effectively partner with a multi-disciplinary care team, while also developing the skills required to become a healthcare leader in their future community.

Lifelong learning and teaching in rural practice

RIMM Track residents will gain the skills essential to being a lifelong learner and teacher while practicing in a rural setting.

  • First rural internal medicine residency track in U.S.
  • Resident continuity clinic based in the rural setting.
  • Shared EMR (Epic) between WMH and MMC.
  • Shared teaching faculty between WMH and MMC.
  • Shared didactics with MMC via videoconferencing.
  • Unique X+Y block schedule format that alternates rotations between rural (WMH) and urban (MMC) settings:
    Year Rural (WMH) Urban (MMC)
    PGY-1/PGY-2 Continuity Clinic
    Rural Hospital Medicine
    Rural Emergency Medicine
    Rural Geriatrics
    Rural Specialty Clinics
    Inpatient General Medicine
    Inpatient Cardiology/CICU
    Inpatient Hem-Onc
    Inpatient Renal Transplant
    Sub-specialty Consults
    Night Float
    PGY-3 Continuity Clinic
    Rural Hospital Medicine
    Rural Emergency Medicine
    Rural Specialty Clinics
    Inpatient General Medicine
    VA sub-specialty clinics
    Medicine Consult
  • Representative format of RIMM rural continuity clinic weeks:
      Mon  Tues Wed Thurs Fri
    MMC Morning
    MMC Morning
    MMC Grand
    MMC Morning

    MMC Board
     AM Session Specialty Clinic Procedures RIMM
    Clinic Flex Time
     PM Session Clinic Clinic Pre-Clinic


  • Advanced procedure opportunities: non-invasive cardiology (treadmill stress testing, EKG, ABIs), dermoscopy and skin biopsy, pulmonary function tests, endoscopy, joint aspiration/injection, POCUS.
  • RIMM-specific curriculum modules for leadership, teaching (culminating in MITE Clinical Teaching Certificate), addiction medicine (including X-waiver training), population health, and QI/PS (culminating in Lean Six Sigma White Belt course).
  • Rural research opportunities available through Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network.

Western Maine Healthcare (WMH), a MaineHealth member organization located in Norway ME, serves as the rural teaching site for the RIMM Track. Norway is a community of 5000 people located 45 miles to the north of Portland in the foothills of the White Mountains. The surrounding area of Oxford County has a population of approximately 57,000 people.

Teaching sites at Western Maine Health include Stephens Memorial Hospital (SMH), a 25 bed critical access hospital, and Western Maine Primary Care, a patient-centered medical home practice of six board-certified internal medicine physicians. SMH has been named a Top Rural Hospital by the Leapfrog Group.

The physicians at Western Maine Health have a long and valued history as medical educators and healthcare leaders in Maine. For over 25 years MMC Internal Medicine residents have rotated through WMH as part of their PGY-2 Rural Medicine rotation. Since 2011 the site has also been home to 3 TUSM - Maine Track clerkship students. WMH physicians have served in leadership roles within MaineHealth and the Maine Chapter of ACP.

Shane Kirkegaard, DO: Rural Primary Care, Pocahontas, IA

Sam Ferguson, MD: Rural Primary Care, Norway, ME

Housing is provided for RIMM residents and TUSM-MMC third year medical students at a housing complex located in downtown Norway adjacent to Stephens Memorial Hospital. Transportation costs for travel between WMH and MMC is supported.

Applications for internship will be accepted only through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) Application. No paper applications will be accepted. Our code for the National Resident Matching Program is: Rural Internal Medicine Maine Track (NRMP code 1236140M0).