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Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST) Program

Summary 
  • 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.
Description

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:

Services offered

This unique curriculum connects underserved WWAMI communities to the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) and affiliated residency programs, including:

Additionally:

Results

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:

The following articles offer a glimpse into how the TRUST program is impacting specific medical centers:

Barriers

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.

Replication

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

Contact Information
Tom Greer, MD, MPH, Professor and Director of Medical Student Programs, Department of Family Medicine; Co-Director, TRUST
Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST) program
206.543.9425
tomgreer@uw.edu
Topics
Health workforce education and training
Physicians
States served
Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming
Date added
December 8, 2014
Date updated or reviewed
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.