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 prepare internal medicine residents for practice in a rural community.

Program Themes

The rural internist as generalist and specialist

In addition to preparation for office and hospital-based internal medicine practice, RIMM Track residents will have the flexibility and opportunity for 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

Beyond procedure training outlined by ABIM as required for “Safe and Competent Performance” and “Knowledge and Understanding”, RIMM Track residents will have the flexibility and opportunity to gain experience in other procedures that meet their individual career goals and the needs of their future rural community.

Rural population health and rural health disparities

Through curriculum offerings in rural population health and participation in population health learning experiences, RIMM Track residents will develop the skills necessary to assess and improve the health of rural populations within their practice, community, and state.

Teamwork and leadership in rural practice

As a result of immersion in a patient-centered medical home and “neighborhood”, the RIMM Track resident will learn the skills needed to effectively partner with a multi-disciplinary care team. By incorporating leadership training and community partnership experiences in population health, the resident will develop the skills required to become a healthcare leader in their future community.

Lifelong learning and teaching in rural practice

With instruction in evidence-based medicine, healthcare technology & informatics and teaching, augmented by engagement with professional societies, the resident will gain essential skills to be a lifelong learner and teacher while practicing in a rural setting.

RIMM Track residents will spend time at both MMC and SMH, with 4-6 week “rural” blocks alternating with 4 week blocks at MMC. Progressive amounts of time will be spent in the rural site each year as described below.

Program Highlights

  • The unique schedule blends learning experiences in both rural and urban settings.

    The Best of Both Worlds

    Stephens Memorial Hospital Maine Medical Center
    PGY-1 24 Weeks 28 Weeks
    PGY-2 30 Weeks 22 Weeks
    PGY-3 36 Weeks 16 Weeks
  • Didactic conferences are video conferenced real time to SMH. Conferences include: Morning Report; Academic Half Day; Grand Rounds; M&M/Quality Improvement; and EBM/Journal Club.
  • MMC and SMH shared faculty: Hospital Medicine, Cardiology, ENT, Geriatrics, Oncology, and Urology
  • Shared integrated Electronic Health Record (EHR), Epic
  • Longitudinal, immersive continuity clinic experience based out of a rural patient-centered medical home practice
  • Inpatient MMC rotations: General Medicine; Medical Subspecialty Services (Cardiology, Hematology-Oncology, Renal Transplant); Intensive Care (MICU, CICU, Neuro ICU); Neurology; Consult Service
  • Rural-based specialty training: Non-invasive Cardiology; Hematology-Oncology; Geriatrics; Palliative Care; Gynecology; Urology; Orthopedics; Otolaryngology
  • Flexible, learner-centered elective opportunities in the final year of training
  • A community of learners: Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) – Maine Track students, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine students, and MMC residents

About Our Rural Partner

Western Maine Healthcare (WMHC) and Stephens Memorial Hospital (SMH), a 25 bed critical access hospital, located in Norway, serves as the hospital-based teaching site. 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. 

SMH has been named a Top Rural Hospital by the Leapfrog Group. Oxford Hills Internal Medicine, a patient-centered medical home practice of seven board-certified internal medicine physicians, is located adjacent to Stephens Memorial Hospital and serves as the primary outpatient teaching site.

WMHC is one of the 11 member organizations of MaineHealth along with Maine Medical Center (MMC). Western Maine Healthcare has a long and valued history as medical educators in Maine. For the past 25 years MMC Internal Medicine residents have rotated through WMHC as part of their PGY-2 Rural Medicine rotation. Since 2011 the site has also been home to 3 TUSM - Maine Track clerkship students. The internists at Western Maine Healthcare have been regular participants in many of Maine’s continuing medical education and faculty development offerings, including the yearly Maine ACP Educational Conference and TUSM-MMC Medical Education conference.

Housing & Transportation

Housing at the rural site is provided for residents in downtown Norway adjacent to Stephens Memorial Hospital. This same housing complex is used for the TUSM-MMC third-year medical students who spend the year in Norway. Transportation costs for travel between Norway and Portland will be provided for the rural-based residents.


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).