Office of Rural Programs


The TRUST curriculum centers around matching interested medical students with expert physician preceptors in targeted communities across the WWAMI region. This provides students an opportunity to become an integral part of the local healthcare system and facilitates deep connections to the TRUST continuity sites. Please refer to the TRUST Overview & Checklist for a detailed description of everything listed below.

1. Compliance - A Pre-requisite for Participation

In order to participate in the First Summer Experience (FSE) and all future TRUST activities, students must complete all items listed on the TRUST Scholar Compliance Checklist. Following official commitment to the TRUST program, students will be given access to the TRUST Scholars Longitudinal Canvas page, which contains all the curricular elements of the TRUST program for the entire medical school experience.

2. Prior to the Start of School - The First Summer Experience (FSE)

TRUST Scholars spend several days with their physician preceptor at their assigned TRUST continuity site. This is their chance to get to know their TRUST community, clinic providers, and clinic flow, so that when they return to the site again, they can jump back in and get to work applying skills learned during the Foundations Phase. During this time, Scholars will:

  • Complete the Understanding Population Health Needs: Working with Data – Underserved Pathway Module
  • Complete a Walk Around Discovery Tool to learn more about their TRUST community
  • Meet the Healthcare Team and begin to understand each person’s job functions
  • Have a conversation with a patient to learn more about the unique opportunities and challenges present at their TRUST site
  • Reflect on their experience during FSE

3. During the Foundations Phase

The Foundations curriculum varies from campus to campus, but all TRUST Scholars will:

  • Maintain contact with their continuity site and physician preceptor through return visits, typically during Medicine, Health & Society and/or Integration weeks (in the spring and fall)
  • Establish a second mentoring relationship with a UWSOM College faculty member
  • As funding allows, participate in a national and/or regional rural and underserved health conference at least once during their medical school career

4. Summer Between 1st & 2nd Years - Participate in RUOP

TRUST Scholars satisfy their Independent Investigative Inquiry (III) research requirement through their participation in the Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP). More information about RUOP can be found on the website, on the TRUST Overview & Checklist guideline, and in the TRUST Scholars Canvas page.

5. Attend the WWAMI TRUST Leadership Retreat Prior to the Start of the Second Year

A unique opportunity for TRUST Scholars across the WWAMI region to connect in-person with each other and with TRUST faculty and community preceptors in an idyllic setting. The retreat will focus on growing student physician leadership skills, highlighting unique challenges and opportunities rural/underserved physicians face, and providing a venue for early networking.

6. During the Patient Care Phase - Participate in WRITE

TRUST Scholars will return to their continuity community for several months to complete the WWAMI Rural Integrated Training Experience (WRITE). Throughout this time, students will develop a practice style while learning how to treat a broad range of medical, surgical, and psychological problems. Learning experiences emphasize the rural/underserved physician’s responsibilities and roles of diagnosing, treating, and managing many health problems on a longitudinal, continuing basis, while calling upon all available healthcare resources in the community.

7. During the Explore & Focus Phase

This time is all about exploring additional opportunities for advanced inpatient and outpatient experiences at UWSOM-approved sites to help prepare for the R-1 year. TRUST Scholars may consider completing a rural Advanced Patient Care (APC) clerkship (FAMED 702) during this time, or enroll in a variety of rural clinical electives in different disciplines. Students are encouraged to continue investing in their mentoring relationships, participating in specialized seminars, and presenting/participating at regional and national rural and underserved health conference, as funding allows.