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About the Rural Medical Immersion Programme

The Rural Medical Immersion Programme (RMIP) is a programme for fifth year medical students from the University of Otago. 

Our students spend the year living in a smaller community, learning in parallel with the traditional medical programme by self-directed and case-based learning. Students work with hospital-based doctors and GPs in an apprenticeship model, seeing patients under supervision.

This gives students the opportunity to experience interacting with a diverse group of patients with a large variety of illnesses or injuries. They can then study these conditions to obtain a broad base of clinical knowledge and experience.

The RIMP's outcomes are excellent, and are supported by two in-depth reviews and a publication in the New Zealand Medical Journal, Shelker, W., Zaharic, T., Sijnja, B., & Glue, P. (2014). Influence of rural background and rural medical training on postgraduate medical training and location in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal, 127(1403). Retrieved from

We have seven regional teaching centres:

RMIP students are placed in rural areas throughout New Zealand. Students live at one of these centres for the year. They are attached to local practices and hospitals, and travel to more remote localities.

How to apply for the RMIP programme (PDF)