The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford has several renowned educational programs, including:
A part of one of the largest public medical schools in the United States, the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford (UICOMR) in Rockford, Illinois, provides the finest community-based medical training for the next generation of physicians.
UICOMR is internationally recognized as a leader in medical education with a competitive academic curriculum and acclaimed research opportunities that attract top students and faculty worldwide to the scenic UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford. Characterized by direct faculty involvement in student training, the mission of the Doctor of Medicine program is to develop competent, compassionate physicians, fully capable of advanced training.
Since the first medical students arrived in 1972, the College of Medicine Rockford has focused on building an academic medical institution committed to developing an optimal learning environment for training health care professionals, conducting innovative research and improving the health and wellness of the community.
Our environment reflects the philosophy that patient care is central to medical education. With extensive clinical experience incorporated into the curriculum, the College of Medicine Rockford provides hands-on, faculty-guided experience within our clinical operations that include the L.P. Johnson Family Health Center, Medical Evaluation Response Initiative Team (MERIT) Program, Correctional Medicine Program, as well as through our extensive network of community faculty and affiliations with health systems, hospitals and other facilities in the local area, around the state and even internationally.
The Rural Medical Education Program (RMED) is one of the strongest programs in rural medicine in the nation and is a supplement to the regular medical school curriculum. The RMED Program was established in 1990 through state legislation to improve access to physicians in rural, downstate and shortage areas of Illinois. The RMED Program is evidence-based and employs a “grow-your-own” model by recruiting students from rural Illinois communities who express a desire to return to a rural Illinois community to practice medicine. In addition to the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford Doctor of Medicine curriculum, RMED students participate in an add-on rural interprofessional curriculum during all four years of medical school, including seminars, field trips, projects and a 16-week preceptorship experience in a rural Illinois community.
UICOMR students can expect research opportunities through the Office of Research and strong academic and career support through the Office of Student Affairs. Student government and organizations connect students to each other, the campus and the community.
The Master of Science in Medical Biotechnology Program concentrates on biological processes, technologies and skill sets used in the research and development of pharmaceutical products, vaccines and devices for the medical industry. Students in this program receive in-depth training in modern biotechnology and learn a range of transferable research, analytical, communication and business skills.
The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford Family Medicine Residency Program began in 1972 and, as of fall 2017, has graduated more than 390 family medicine doctors, most practicing in both rural and urban underserved communities. Residents are taught by faculty from all departments at the College of Medicine Rockford, ensuring a quality, high-volume experience. Our core family medicine faculty has expertise in patient-centered care, chronic illness, rural health care, quality improvement initiatives, obstetrics, alternative and complementary therapies and research. The program is based out of the L.P. Johnson Family Health Center at 1221 E. State Street in Rockford and is affiliated with SwedishAmerican: A Division of UW Health, and its Top 100 quality hospital, where we enjoy the full support of the hospital administration and medical staff.
The Dixon Rural Training Track is a progressive, three-year residency program for family physicians-in-training who are deeply committed to establishing a family medicine career in a rural setting. Established in 2004, this College of Medicine Rockford program is affiliated with Katherine Shaw Bethea (KSB) Hospital in Dixon, Ill.
The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford offers the first year of training for the residents admitted to this American Osteopathic Association residency program each year. These residents then complete their next two years of training at Monroe Clinic in rural Monroe, Wisconsin. See https://www.monroeclinic.org/medicaleducation/familymedicineresidency.
New in 2018, the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program sponsored by University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Rural Health Professions Program
The Rural Health Professions (RHP) Program of the National Center for Rural Health Professions is an interprofessional add-on curriculum in which students have the unique opportunity to engage directly with rural communities in Illinois during all four years of their training. RHP students learn about key issues in rural health that prepare them to serve as rural health leaders. The RHP program is for students enrolled in the University of Illinois at Chicago Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work. The combined longitudinal classroom component of the RHP Program is an innovative strategy in health professions education.
- Rural Medical Education (RMED) Program – The RMED Program was established in 1990 through state legislation to improve access to physicians in rural, downstate and shortage areas of Illinois. The RMED Program is evidence-based and employs a “grow-your-own” model by recruiting students from rural Illinois communities who express a desire to return to a rural Illinois community to practice medicine. In addition to the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford Doctor of Medicine curriculum, RMED students participate in an add-on rural interprofessional curriculum during all four years of medical school, including seminars, field trips, projects and a 16-week preceptorship experience in a rural Illinois community.
- Rural Pharmacy Education (RPHARM) Program – Based on the success of the RMED Program, RPHARM began in 2010 with a program that recruits students from rural Illinois with the goal of having them return as practicing pharmacists. University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy students at the Rockford campus enrolled in the concentration in rural pharmacy services receive education and mentoring focused on the health care needs of rural communities while they earn their Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. Many of their rural rotations are in conjunction with RMED students.
- Rural Nursing Education (RNURSING) Program – New in 2017, RNURSING allows advanced practice nursing students from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing at the Rockford campus to take electives focused on meeting the health care needs of rural communities. These RNURSING students seeking the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree join RMED and RPHARM students for collaborative projects. Increasing the number of primary care advanced practice nurses can improve access to health care in rural communities with a shortage of health professionals and decrease the health disparities for these underserved populations.
- Illinois Behavioral Health Workforce Education, Leadership and Learning Program (BHWELL) – Through a partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work, the BHWELL Program is intended for Master of Social Work students and provides additional curriculum on integrated care. Students of the BHWELL program will also complete two semesters of interprofessional training in a rural or underserved community. The program was created to combat the significant mental health professional shortage in Illinois.
The College of Medicine Rockford and its faculty often provide opportunities for continuing education for area physicians.
Educating young people about science and health careers helps encourage them to explore health career option and builds a pipeline for the next generation of health professionals and researchers. From summer camps to internship opportunities, the College of Medicine Rockford offers a variety of programs.
Other Colleges on Campus
The UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford is also home to programs of the UIC College of Pharmacy and the UIC College of Nursing, allowing for interdisciplinary educational opportunities and activities.