UND Minot-Williston Rural Track

Rural Track Overview

The family medicine residency is sponsored by the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences, a unique, community-based medical school with a strong commitment to family medicine. Trinity Hospital in Minot, N.D. and Mercy Medical Center in Williston, N.D. are the primary clinical partners.

A new program as of July 2014, it is a natural for medical students with strong leadership skills looking for intense training opportunities which can be customized to their particular needs and interests. The faculty members are experienced clinicians with years of teaching experience, eager to develop a program specifically designed to graduate family physicians prepared to work in the most rural settings.

The rural track is administered by the staff and faculty of the 6:6:6 core program in family medicine in Minot, N.D., which was the first residency program in the state, begun in 1975, graduating a total of 171 family physicians.

The University of North Dakota (Minot) Program Rural Track Williston, Program 1203700682 was approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Two Locations

The program emphasizes rural family medicine training in the setting where it is practiced. Residents enjoy a well-rounded first year in Minot, N.D., a small city of 47,000 and the subsequent two years in Williston, N.D., a smaller city of about 30,000.

Both sites provide mostly 1:1 training situations with supervision and teaching by dedicated rural physician educators in the setting of a community hospital. Though the program is accredited for one resident per year, temporary approval has been obtained for two residents per year. Planning continues for a 2-2-2 program. The program is registered with the NRMP and ERAS and is accepting applications for PGY1 positions.

Features of Rural Track Residency Program

The residents in the program will have unlimited opportunities in high volume emergency, obstetrics and procedural training. The leadership opportunities for the residents in the program are tremendous.

  • Unopposed, personalized programs (lots of freedom to customize education)
  • University sponsored
  • Medical school focused on primary care
  • Exposure to individuals of diverse ethnicity
  • Community setting
  • Beautiful western environment
  • Experienced rural physicians as teachers/mentors
  • Unlimited clinical exposure
  • High volume trauma, OB, minor surgery
  • High volume office procedures with one on one mentoring
  • New program—opportunity for leadership

Characteristics of Ideal Applicants

Our rural track program is looking forward to enrolling medical school graduates with a strong passion for full-spectrum family medicine.

  • Strong leadership characteristics
  • Previous exposure to rural life
  • Desire for personalized, intimate educational program
  • Strong passion for family medicine
  • Self-starters with adventurous nature
  • Desire to practice in rural setting


Year 1

During the first year of the rural track program, residents will be located in Minot where they will see their continuity patients at the Center for Family Medicine - Minot. Residents participate in didactics, care for their patients at the family medicine clinic and complete twelve months of block rotations. They develop important general family medicine skills.

Rotations will be completed at Trinity Health which consists of a hospital and outpatient clinics. Trinity Health has a 451-bed hospital with a 230-bed nursing home. A level II Trauma Center, Trinity Hospital is the referral center for many regional and critical access hospitals. With a catchment area of 16 counties (about 20,000 square miles), Trinity is able to support many specialist physicians and provide many more services than might be anticipated from a community this size. Trinity's 200+ physicians provide a wide variety of comprehensive services. In addition, Trinity has recently joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network. This provides opportunities for collaboration with the specialists and resources at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Years 2 and 3

After the first year, residents move to the Williston, N.D. campus at the new Family Medicine clinic where they will be immersed in a more rural environment and have intensive training in the heightened responsibility and experience of caring for patients in a more rural setting.

Resident physicians will complete their rotations at Mercy Medical Center in Williston. The staff and administrative team at Mercy are very motivated in their commitment to medical education and to make the residents a part of the community. The facilities at Mercy have expanded with the population and include a beautiful new birthing center.

Although the facilities are well-equipped, having fewer specialists highlights the importance of the family medicine physician and creates opportunities for developing competence in this challenging environment. Residents located in Williston will continue to have access to the noon conference didactics at the main campus through video conferencing. The main campus faculty will also remain involved in supervising and mentoring residents and will visit throughout the year.