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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.

TRUST Logo 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.

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. 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:

The TRUST Continuum shows students' involvement in TRUST throughout their medical school careers.

The TRUST Continuum (Version 2)
Click for larger image.

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 2017:

  • 73% of graduates matched into primary care residency programs
  • 64 resident doctors have come from this program

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

More stories about this program are featured in the UW Medicine Magazine and TRUST Newsletters.

TRUST Office of Rural Programs Team
The Office of Rural Programs team runs the TRUST program at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Since the TRUST program is somewhat decentralized, it requires significant resources from each WWAMI site. 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.
Contact Information
David Evans, MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine & Director
Office of Rural Programs TRUST program
Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST) program
Health workforce education and training
States served
Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming
Date added
December 8, 2014
Date updated or reviewed
December 28, 2017

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.