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Rural health and Current literature in sociology, in exploring barriers to health rooted in rurality, has failed to synthesize information about the ways rural culture affects patient experiences with providers and health encounters. Doing so is important for elucidating useful ways to utilize elements of that culture to improve rural patient experiences and outcomes. Our goal was thus to draw from medical sociology, public health, and medicine to review the literature exploring the nature of the patient-provider relationship and the factors that affect it, rural culture, and the theory grounding the interaction of health and health behaviors with social factors. Ultimately, then, we begin to elucidate the complex nature of interactions between healthcare and rural culture, and suggest making use of those interactions in more effective rural healthcare delivery.