A track is a set of extracurricular activities that extends through multiple semesters and three or more years of medical school on a longitudinal basis. A track focuses on general areas of interest that lie outside the scope of any specific clinical specialty. Examples include the Rural Track, Global Track, Leadership Track and Research Track. Participation in a track is NOT required of all students. Tracks often involve activity outside of the regular SOM schedule, particularly during the summer between Phases I and II and during the inter-sessions of Phases III and IV. Other than summer and/or intersession attendance, tracks do not add additional semesters or years to medical school, unless specifically stated.
The Rural Track is the first track established in the School of Medicine in 2005, and has become a model for other tracks. Our goal is to identify students interested in future rural living and medical practice, and to provide them with broad-based knowledge, practical experience, faculty mentorship and group companionship that will help them explore rural practice and decide if it is right for them. Students interested in Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine, General Pediatrics, General Surgery and Emergency Medicine are most likely to be interested in the Rural Track. Ultimately, our goal is to increase the number of physicians who enter and remain in practice in rural Colorado.
Here are the general components of the Rural Track curriculum:
- During Phases I and II, seminars are held about twice a month that will help interpret and bring a rural focus to what students are learning in their regular courses.
- In the summer, between Phases I and II, students will have expenses paid to participate in a 4-week rural preceptorship.
- Additional clinical skills labs.
- During Phases III and IV the Rural Track meets during intersessions when all students are back on campus.
- The SOM curriculum includes a scholarly activity requirement. Students in the rural track will be offered mentorship for their scholarly activity in a rural-related topic.
- Students seeking information on scholarship and loan repayment programs will receive assistance.
- As the program progresses, the program will seek a link with communities who are recruiting for new physicians so that we can help them establish contact with our "pipeline" of physicians-in-training.
The Colorado supplemental application to the standard AMCAS School of Medicine application permits one to submit an application specific to the Rural Track in addition to the general application to the School of Medicine. One must have a complete application to the regular MD Program to be considered for the Rural Track.
Students who wish to be considered for the Rural Track must submit an additional essay on this topic: “Describe your experience in and commitment to rural Colorado and your vision of working as a primary care physician in rural Colorado.”
Invitations for interviews are based on overall academic record, MCAT scores etc. Students who are invited for interviews and who have indicated an interest in the Rural Track will usually have a chance to meet with a key faculty member to discuss their background and interests.
Students who state an interest in the Rural Track are NOT limited to the Rural Track and may be offered admission to the general School of Medicine class. Applying to the Rural Track will neither increase nor decrease a student's chance of admission to the School of Medicine
Students admitted to the Rural Track meet the same academic requirements as others admitted to the School of Medicine in terms of their college GPA, MCAT scores etc.
Between 12 and 20 students in each class are admitted to the Rural Track depending on student interest, suitability and funding.
No, the Rural Track and our associated programs are funded by grants from foundations and other stakeholders including the Colorado Trust, The Colorado Health Foundation, Caring for Colorado, the Dean of the School of Medicine and private individuals.
No, there are no scholarships automatically awarded to Rural Track students. However many students in the Rural Track qualify for various scholarships offered by the School of Medicine
Physicians in greatest demand in rural areas are those with broad-based primary care skills, especially graduates of Family Medicine residencies, are. Physicians who complete General Internal Medicine, General Pediatrics and General Surgery residencies may also be suited to practice in some rural areas. For those applying to medical school now, residency and practice may seem a long way off, but we believe that the experiences of the Rural Track will make our graduates sought-after candidates for the best residencies. Colorado 's Family Medicine Residencies, has more information.