During Phases I and II, a variety of lectures, and workshops are held several times a month that will help interpret and bring an urban underserved focus to what students are learning in their regular courses.
Among these sessions, information on scholarship and loan repayment programs is provided.
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.
This longitudinal project should focus on urban underserved populations and should be completed between 1st and 2nd year. MD students may choose to engage in a clinical rotation pertinent to urban underserved populations in their 4th year instead. The SOM curriculum includes a scholarly activity requirement and UUT student must complete the Mentored Scholarly Activity (MSA) on health issues which impact urban underserved populations. A UUT project can also start to fulfill the MSA requirement. 1
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. SOM schedules track meetings once or twice per semester where everyone in the other programs are also asked to attend. 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.
Phase 3: Clinical Core Rotations at Urban Underserved Sites
Students may do several of their core clinical clerkships and electives at metro Denver safety net sites. These include Denver Health, Salud Family Health Centers, Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics, Sheridan School-Based Health Center (College of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner Program) and Stout Street Clinic for the Homeless (School of Medicine). PA students have to do at least 4 of their clinical rotation at urban underserved sites.
Please note that CHA/PA program takes 3 years to complete and some NP programs end in 2 to 3 years.
Phase 4: Urban Underserved Health Care Electives
Students participating in Urban Underserved Track will receive priority based on interest to participate in selected urban underserved electives. Electives include Refugee Health*, and those affiliated with Stout Street, the medical student-run clinic for the homeless, or Sheridan, a nurse practitioner student-run school-based health center. MD students unable to complete a UUT project must engage in an elective pertinent to urban underserved population.
The Urban Underserved Track continually works on forming links within urban underserved communities that are recruiting for new physicians.
*The Refugee Health Elective (RHE) is directed by Dr. Jamal Moloo, also director of UUT. Find more info on RHE on a separate section of this website.