The UW School of Medicine offers students the opportunity to pursue a particular interest and develop knowledge and skills through unique pathways. Students can participate in a range of offerings–from working with underserved communities domestically and abroad, to those focused on humanities and arts, or research. Pathways allow students to:
- Organize their courses and volunteer opportunities (and for some, clinical rotations) around a particular interest.
- Explore career interests with mentorship from faculty, staff, community members, and providers who share those interests.
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 Indian Health Pathway, founded in 1992, provides a unique 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. 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 the Indian Health Pathway which is administered by the Office of Healthcare Equity (OHCE).
The Global Health Pathway, founded in 2004, 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 the Global Health Pathway which is administered by the Department of Global Health.
The Underserved Pathway, founded in 2006, provides a general introduction to communities with health disparities such as rural, homeless, and various racial and ethnic groups. 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. Kim Kardonsky serves as director of the Underserved Pathway, which is administered by the Department of Family Medicine.
The Latinx Health Pathway, founded in 2008, 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 in Washington state. 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 the Latinx Health Pathway, which is administered by the Office of Healthcare Equity (OHCE).
The LGBTQI+ Health Pathway, founded in 2016, provides a number of educational opportunities and experiences to medical students that will better prepare them to provide culturally responsive care for LGBTQI+ populations. Dr. Corinne Heinen serves as director of the LGBTQI+ Pathway, which is administered by the Office of Healthcare Equity (OHCE).
Humanities and the Arts Pathway (HAP), founded in 2020, provides a unique educational experience for medical students to thoughtfully and creatively engage with patient stories and the experience of becoming a physician using specialized modules, clinical experiences, reflection, and creative expression. This pathway is for students who are interested in using the arts and humanities to explore medicine. Dr. Andrea Kalus serves as faculty advisor for this Pathway, which is administered by the Department of Dermatology.
The Black Health Justice Pathway, founded in 2022, provides a curriculum that highlights the systemic oppression of Black people and its resulting socioeconomic and health sequelae. It provides medical students with the foundational knowledge to assess health inequities through a critical lens, and with the tools needed to advocate for health equity within UWSOM, in Black communities throughout WWAMI, and in their future practices as physicians. Dr. Peter Asante serves as director of the Black Health Justice Pathway, which is administered by the Office of Healthcare Equity (OHCE).
The Spokane Leadership Pathway, founded in 2022, provides a foundation for students to be capable, effective physician-leaders within their organizations and communities. This pathway is administered by the UW School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Health Partnership. Rachelle Strawther serves as the faculty lead at Gonzaga and UW Spokane assistant clinical dean Dr. Darin Eckert serves as the pathway director.
Clinical Translational Research Pathway (CTR), founded in 2023, is designed for health sciences students who wish to learn about and explore the process of creating new knowledge in the form of clinical and/or translational research. CTR is administered by ITHS. Dr. Mark Whipple serves as the CTR pathway director.
Interested in starting a pathway?
All pathways must be reviewed and approved by the UW School of Medicine Curriculum Committee.
- Initially, a pathway is approved as a pilot program (typically for one to three years). Faculty directors present the following information to the Curriculum Committee:
- A description of the pathway
- Pathway faculty and administration
- A proposed schedule of pathway courses/activities/etc.
- Student application and selection process
- Implementation timeline
- WWAMI sites involved/plans for expansion
- After the pilot period, faculty directors can return to the Curriculum Committee to request permanent status. The following information is presented:
- An overview of the pathway
- The number of students who have participated
- The courses/activities/projects/etc. they have completed
- Challenges/lessons learned
- Any changes planned
- Plans for the future
- Reach out to the Curriculum Office for more information about getting a pathway approved at email@example.com.