We are very excited to launch the WONCA Rural Medical Education Guidebook at the 12th WONCA World Rural Health Conference, Gramado, Brazil. The roots for the Guidebook go back to 1992 when a very important meeting was held on the sidelines of the WONCA Global Family Doctor conference in Vancouver, Canada. At this meeting an interested group of rural practitioners saw the need for WONCA to develop a specific focus on rural doctors. As a result, the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice (WWPRP) was formed. The group set about producing a visionary roadmap for rural medical education in the form of a seminal document, the WONCA policy on Training for Rural Practice 1995. This was followed four years later by further recommendations made in a companion document, the WONCA policy on Rural Health and Rural Practice 1999, which was revised in 2001. The first international rural health conference was organised in China by the WWPRP in 1996 – with subsequent events being held in South Africa (1997), Malaysia (1999), Canada (2000), Australia (2002), Spain (2003), USA (2006), Nigeria (2008), Greece (2009), the Philippines (2011), Canada (2012) and Brazil (2014). These gatherings bring together rural medical doctors, nurses and other health care providers, along with educators and community leaders who share their passion, experiences and ideas to develop rural health, rural medical education and rural communities. The initial educational focus has been accompanied by an emerging realisation that rural medical education (RME) is not only good education for medical students and graduate learners but is a prerequisite for addressing the rural workforce shortages, as it exposes young health professionals to the rich and diverse experiences that rural practice offers…..more