The required curriculum at the University of Washington School of Medicine is designed to prepare students for diverse careers in medicine. Recognizing many students' desire to work with underserved populations, the school has created five Pathways that offer students the opportunity to pursue their interest and develop knowledge and skills specifically tailored to working with underserved populations here and abroad.
Each Pathway allows students to:
- Organize their courses, clinical rotations, and volunteer opportunities around a particular community, population, or aspect of underserved medicine.
- Explore career interests with mentorship from faculty, staff, and community providers and partners who share those interests.
There are currently five Pathways available to medical students at the UW and WWAMI. We encourage students to explore our web sites and contact us to express an interest or ask questions.
The Indian Health Pathway
This Pathway provides unique a educational experience in the area of American Indian and Alaska Native health. The American Indian and Alaska Native communities are one of the most underserved minority groups in the nation. Founded in 1992, this pathway is for students who are interested in becoming medical providers in urban or rural indigenous communities. Dr. Jason Deen serves as director of this Pathway, which is administered by the Center for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
The Global Health Pathway
This Pathway provides medical students with the information and experiences necessary to practice in underserved communities worldwide. Founded in 2004, this Pathway is designed for students interested in research or clinical practice in resource poor settings and with international communities. Dr. Susan Graham serves as the director of this Pathway, which is administered by the Department of Global Health
The Underserved Pathway
This Pathway provides a general introduction to communities with health disparities such as rural, homeless, and various racial and ethnic groups. Founded in 2006, this Pathway is for students who are considering underserved careers and want a broad exposure to underserved populations and settings. Students may focus their Pathway activities within a particular area of interest. Dr. Sharon Dobie serves as director of this Pathway, which is administered by the Department of Family Medicine.
The Hispanic Health Pathway
This Pathway provides medical students a unique educational opportunity in the area of Hispanic health. The Hispanic community is one of the largest growing population groups in the nation and the state of Washington. Founded in 2008, this Pathway is designed for students who are interested in becoming practitioners in communities (urban or rural) with Hispanic populations. Dr. Daniel Cabrera serves as director of this Pathway, which is administered by the Center for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
The LGBTQ Health Pathway
The goal of the LGBTQ Health Pathway is to provide a number of educational opportunities and experiences to medical students that will better prepare them to provide culturally responsive care for LGBTQ populations. This Pathway was founded in 2016. Dr. Shilpen Patel serves as director of this Pathway, which is administered by the Center for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Participating in a Pathway Program
Students may participate in a Pathway’s offerings without completing all the Pathway requirements and may participate in and/or complete more than one Pathway. Completion of a Pathway will be recognized in students' Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) and with a certificate at graduation. The five Pathways are coordinated, sharing resources, ideas, and the vision of encouraging careers with underserved, diverse populations.