Underserved Pathway

The Underserved Pathway is a curricular and experiential program that supports medical students who are interested in caring for underserved populations, both urban and rural. It is longitudinal; students’ participation continues throughout their time in medical school.

The Underserved Pathway helps prepare future physicians to care for vulnerable and underserved populations. The Pathway engages students in three educational avenues: mentoring, developing a foundation of knowledge, and a variety of real-world experiences.

Who are the underserved?  By underserved, we mean people who have difficulty accessing quality health care for a variety of reasons. They are often also vulnerable: they are at risk for poor health due to difficulty accessing the resources necessary for good health. Learn more in our web module. Please note: anyone can view the content of our modules, but certain links and activities are restricted to enrolled students.

Prospective Students Current Students Mentors

Our latest live module, COVID Misinformation, Vaccines, and Burnout, was a panel discussion with Hannah Johanson, RN, MA, Wendy Grace, MD, MA, and Maj. Derrick Thiel, MD. Click to watch the full recording in Canvas (UW NetID required).

Explore UPATH

Students can customize their pathway to meet their own educational goals and interests – some may focus on a specific population or community while other may explore broader issues surrounding the underserved such as advocacy or policy.

The Underserved Pathway works closely with the other School of Medicine Pathways: the Black Health Justice Pathway, the Global Health Pathway, the Indian Health Pathway, the Latinx Health Pathway, and the LGBTQ Health Pathway. Many students are enrolled in more than one pathway. All courses and experiences from these pathways may be applied toward relevant Underserved Pathway requirements

Underserved Pathway Benefits

  •  Preclinical, clinical, and service learning experiences with underserved and vulnerable populations.
  •  Guidance and support from an Underserved Pathway mentor.
  •  Unique web-based curriculum, not typically covered in medical school, to build a knowledge base about issues that affect underserved and vulnerable populations.
  • Dedicated Underserved Pathway advisors, including faculty physicians and a program manager.
  • Opportunities to collaborate with other students interested in careers working with underserved populations.
  • Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of Pathway requirements, given at graduation.
  • Acknowledgment in the Hooding Ceremony program.
  • Recognition in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE/Dean’s Letter).

Quick Links:
Apply to join the Underserved Pathway

Access the the web modules
Update your tracker

Are you a health care professional that works with underserved populations? We’d love for you to be a UPath mentor. Please get in touch!
The Underserved Pathway Team:

Pathway Director
Kimberly Kardonsky, MD

Pathway Associate Director
Genya Shimkin, MPH

Faculty Advisor
Lynn Oliver, MD

Program Manager
Alisse Cassell