The Phase 1 curriculum begins with an introduction to underserved populations as well as the healthcare models and economics behind caring for these populations. The curriculum then moves into blocks covering health disparities, barriers to care, and available resources for several different populations. Block topics covered in the first year include homelessness, LGBTQ+ care, mental health care, and maternal-child health. Blocks consist of talks by experts involved in the field; panel discussions with experts, community advocates, and members of the underserved populations; case-based learning in facilitated small groups; and community exposure or service events for some blocks. The year is capped off with a talk on systemic racism in healthcare and a session on social justice and reflection.
In addition, students have the opportunity to be placed at a community organization involved with the student’s population of interest. These students will form longitudinal service-learning relationships with their partner organization and facilitate opportunities for other track members to participate in service activities.
The Phase 2 curriculum continues where the Phase 1 curriculum left off with the population block format. New topics covered include immigrant (refugee/undocumented) health, domestic violence, health care in the correctional system, and motivational interviewing and harm reduction in the context of substance use disorders. The concepts of mindfulness, self-care, and burnout prevention are also introduced over the course of the second year. The first semester is capped by a panel discussion on social justice. The second semester is capped by a foot care service event at homeless shelters visited during Phase 1. Phase 2 concludes with a reflection and future directions session.
Students have the opportunity to continue working with their community organization or become paired with an organization during Phase 2.
As clinical and academic requirements become more intense during Phases 3 and 4, track requirements decrease. The curriculum becomes focused on career planning, burnout prevention, mentoring track members. Many students continue working on community and academic projects during this time. Additionally, students are encouraged to attend social events facilitated by the track to share their experiences with fellow track members and support one another in maintaining the ideals of empathy, advocacy, and service.