Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST) Program
- Need: There is a shortage of rural physicians in the Northwestern United States.
- Intervention: University of Washington medical students are receiving training through the TRUST program in rural, underserved communities across a five-state radius.
- Results: Long-lasting connections have been formed among regional and underserved communities, medical students, and rural health professionals, producing more rural physicians as a result.
The Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST) program is designed to train and prepare University of Washington medical students for future careers working in rural, underserved communities throughout Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI). This longitudinal program places selected students in a rural medical setting prior to beginning schooling and allows them to return regularly to learn and work within the same community.
The TRUST Continuum shows students' involvement in TRUST throughout their medical school careers.
Sponsors of this program include:
- Washington Academy of Family Physicians and its Foundation
- Montana Area Health Education Centers
Health Resources and
Services Administration (HRSA) through two Title VII
- Targeted Rural and Underserved Training Pipeline (2008-2011)
- Preparing for Practice Innovation (PPI) (2011-2016)
- WWAMI Area Health Education Centers
- Idaho Medical Association
- University of Washington Department of Family Medicine
- University of Washington School of Medicine
This unique curriculum connects underserved WWAMI communities to the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) and affiliated residency programs, including:
- University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network
- Providence Internal Medicine Residency Spokane
- University of Washington-Boise Internal Medicine Residency
- Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Program
- University of Washington/Seattle Children's Pediatric Residency Alaska Track
- A separate admissions process allows selected students to gain experience and build relationships with specific, underserved communities frequently over the course of the student’s medical school career.
- TRUST is connected with existing courses and programs at the University of Washington, such as:
- TRUST connects residency program scholars that have a training focus for the underserved.
The TRUST program has succeeded in incorporating the instruction of rural health professionals into medical students’ educations while longitudinally serving regional and underserved communities. As of 2014:
- 142 resident doctors have come from this program
- 33% have returned to a rural site to practice medicine
The following articles offer a glimpse into how the TRUST program is impacting specific medical centers:
Since the TRUST program is somewhat decentralized, it will require permanent funding to support things like student travel, student housing, and centralized coordinators. In addition, as the program grows, it takes more time to provide ongoing coordination as well as balance the celebration of differences against maintaining consistency.
To learn more about the TRUST program:
- Curriculum section for an overview of the program’s academic timeline.
- Q&A section for answers to commonly asked questions relating to the program.
- News section to see how the TRUST program is making an impact across the WWAMI area.
Greer, T., Kost, A., Evans, D.V., Norris, T., Erickson, J., McCarthy, J., Allen, S. (2016). The WWAMI Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST) Program: An Innovative Response to Rural Physician Workforce Shortages. Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 91(1), 65-69. Article Abstract
Health workforce education and training
Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming
December 8, 2014
December 30, 2015
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.