Medical students looking for help with recommendations or financial support are encouraged to apply to the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program (RIMSAP). Established by the Illinois State Medical Society and the Illinois Farm Bureau, RIMSAP aims to increase the number of rural primary care physicians in Illinois.

“There’s an uneven distribution of doctors in rural areas versus urban areas,†said Donna Gallivan, manager, RIMSAP. “And that’s really why Illinois Farm Bureau began partnering with the Illinois State Medical Society – to get doctors in the places needed most. Since the program began in 1948, RIMSAP has helped more than 800 medical students obtain a medical degree while placing qualified doctors in Illinois’ rural communities.â€

Interested students must have a grade point average no lower than 3.5 on a 5-point scale and may apply for recommendations for entry to the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Additionally, nontraditional students who have competed their undergraduate degree also are welcome to apply. Once accepted into medical school, RIMSAP students are eligible for educational loans up to $50,000 at a 4 percent interest rate for the four years of medical school.

In exchange for recommendation or financial assistance provided by RIMSAP, students agree to specialize in family practice or another primary health care field such as internal medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics, OB-GYN, psychiatry, general surgery, emergency medicine, orthopedic surgery, pediatrics, or anesthesiology, and agree to establish a practice in an approved rural Illinois community for at least five years.

“This program works to meet needs of interested students who may not be able to find assistance following more traditional paths,†Gallivan said. “In the end, it’s a win-win for everyone involved. Talented medical students get the help they need to complete school, and rural Illinois communities are able to attract the general practice doctors necessary to care for and grow the community.â€

RIMSAP applicants must be Illinois residents and must file their application by Nov. 1, 2017 to be considered for the 2018 freshman class. Applicants also must complete the required American Medical College Admission Service forms, and mail them by Oct. 1, 2017 to be on record with the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Interested applicants may visit for more information, or may contact Donna Gallivan at 309-557-2350. Applications may be found at or at any county Farm Bureau office in Illinois.