Course Detail
1.0 - 1.5
Course Components:
Significant health disparities in the United States are a growing concern. To successfully address these challenges will require a multi-faceted approach across all aspects of the health care delivery system, and society more broadly. Developing a comprehensive understanding of tribal, rural, and underserved (TRU) population health and the inequities with which these communities contend, is vital for all physicians, especially for those who intend to enter TRU primary care. This introductory course will explore the social determinants of health, and the complex intersectionality inherent in our system, including the overlapping, and sometimes competing, challenges in caring for a wide spectrum of rural communities (ie tribal communities vs. ethnically diverse Hispanic centers vs, LDS enclave vs. racially-mixed communities of the African American South, as an example) and medically underserved urban communities. Though the geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic characteristics in the rural and urban underserved United States are remarkably diverse, medical practice in these communities (especially in rural and frontier communities) requires a broad skill set given 1) the wide range of medical conditions health care providers in resource-limited environments must manage, and 2) the local and regional leadership roles that these clinicians are often asked to serve, related to community-oriented health improvement interventions, administrative and educational leadership, and development and implementation of health policy. By participating in this course, and others in the Tribal, Rural, and Underserved Education (TRUE) Certificate, medical students will examine TRU population health through the lens of public health, social determinants of health, and health delivery systems, thus building a foundation of knowledge, attitudes and attributes essential in successfully responding to health inequities in TRU communities. This is a required course for MS1s interested in completing the TRUE Certificate. However, this course has no prerequisite requirements and can be completed by any medical student who desires to explore TRU health. Students taking this course will have the unique opportunity to develop a longitudinal relationship with a primary care clinical mentor. Students (OPTIONAL Opt-in opportunity for 0.5 credit) will be paired with a primary care physician (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB-Gyn, or Pediatrics, depending on interest and mentor availability), allowing for a rich clinical mentor-mentee relationship to develop over the course of the semester. Students will spend a minimum of 4 clinical sessions during the semester, though, depending on time and mentor availability, more sessions can be scheduled.