Profile of the Week: Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST) Program

Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST) Program

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). Selected students are placed in a rural medical setting before beginning medical school and allows them to return regularly to learn and work within the same community. A shortage of rural physicians in Northwestern America has occurred, and the purpose of this program is to meet the medical needs of the impacted rural communities by creating lasting connections with future physicians.

TRUST seeks to provide a continuous connection between underserved communities, medical education, and health professions in the WWAMI region. The program’s goal is to create a full-circle community by guiding qualified students through a special curriculum that connects communities to the UW School of Medicine and its network of affiliated residency programs in an effort to help meet the workforce needs of the region.

TRUST is centrally administered through the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) Office of Rural Programs. The major sponsors of this program include: Washington Academy of Family Physicians and its Foundation, Montana WWAMI Medical Education Program, WWAMI Area Health Education Centers, Idaho Medical Association, University of Washington Department of Family Medicine, and University of Washington School of Medicine.

TRUST has seen success in incorporating instruction from rural health professionals into the curriculum while serving the targeted communities, and the majority of these graduates were matched into primary care residency programs.

To learn more about TRUST, visit their website or email their contact at somrural@uw.edu.

Evidence-Based Resources

It is predicted by 2032 there will be a national physician shortage between 46,900 and 121,900, including primary and specialty care. With a growing and aging population and prioritized health goals, life expectancy is increasing. The shortage issue is exacerbated by currently active doctors retiring.

For more information on the physician shortage and TRUST, visit the websites below:

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