Urban Medicine Program (UMED)
What is the Urban Medicine Program? Heading link
The Urban Medicine Program (UMED) is a 4-year curricular program that runs in parallel to the medical school curriculum. UMED is dedicated to training a workforce of future physician leaders, regardless of specialty, who are committed to partnering with local organizations to address health disparities through service learning and advocacy. UMED accomplishes this through seminars, workshops, medical colloquia, and long-term involvement with community-based organizations via the Longitudinal Community Rotation (LCR). The UMed program focuses on four main themes:
- Disparities in healthcare access and outcomes
- Community engagement
- Diversity and intercultural communication
- Policy and advocacy
UMED Heading link
The mission of the Urban Medicine (UMed) Program is to train a workforce of life long physician-leaders who are committed to partnering with local organizations to address health disparities by promoting justice in systematically oppressed communities through service learning and advocacy.
Prerequisites and placement in the curriculum
Students are selected through a competitive application process (considering supplemental essays and scoring of non-cognitive qualifications prior to matriculation).
Admission to UI College of Medicine and acceptance of offer to join the UMed program are required. There are no required courses or clerkships prior to participation. Participating students must be in good standing with the college and not in need of remediation in order to continue in this longitudinal elective program.
Curriculum and instructional methods
- Seminars: Monthly or bi-monthly, 2-hour seminars accompanied by relevant pre-work, during M1 and M2 years. Seminars cover topics that prepare students to best serve marginalized communities, such as health literacy, trauma informed care, health education delivery, and much more.
- Longitudinal Community Rotation (LCR): Students work in teams to respond to the needs of their particular partner site by delivering research, mentorship, and/or program interventions to the communities served by our community partner sites. For additional information about the LCR, please see the Longitudinal Community Rotation (LCR) dropdown below.
- Online Policy and Advocacy Course: The online policy and advocacy course is self-paced and done during the M3 year. Divided into 7 modules, it covers topics such as the legislative process, working with decision makers, elections and advocacy, and much more. While the course is self-paced and largely done individually, there is a final group deliverable.
- Policy and Advocacy Forum: The Forum is a week-long policy and advocacy event curated for UMed students in their last year of medical school. Through seminars and workshops, students learn about and develop skills in community organizing, mobilizing stakeholders and communicating with legislators at the local, state, and national levels, writing and designing key policy and advocacy tools, and much more.
- Final LCR Capstone: In student’s last year with UMed, they will submit a group capstone with their LCR team. As we seek to be responsive to the needs of our community partners, the specific deliverable can change to best support the partnering site
Longitudinal Community Rotation (LCR)
The goals of the LCR are to develop a relationship with a community, engage in wellness or prevention at the community level, and to provide students with first-hand experience in community-based program design, implementation, and evaluation. The LCR is a requirement for all UMed students. Each student is expected to:
- Spend at least 200 hours on their project over the course of 4 years
- Complete check-ins, reports, assignments, and evaluations as indicated by the UMed Program
- Collaborate with their LCR mentor(s) and team to deliver quality programming and/or research to the community that they serve
- Turn in a final capstone project related to work done with the LCR
UMed is pass/fail. Students can earn up to 6 credits, based on successful completion of, and participation in, the following:
- Seminars: Attendance at UMed seminars and completion of all necessary pre and post-seminar materials/evaluations (2 credits)
- LCR: Completion of at least 200 hours in a Longitudinal Community Rotation (LCR) over the course of four years and submission of final group LCR capstone (2 credits)
- Online Policy and Advocacy Course: Completion of the online policy and advocacy course (1 credit)
- Policy and Advocacy Forum: Participation in a one-week policy and advocacy forum in fourth year (1 credit)
Frequently Asked Questions
Would I be doing the same clinical rotations during the third-fourth years?
The seven core clerkships in the third year (family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/ gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery and neurology) apply to all students. Urban Medicine student’s clerkship schedules will be created through the same procedures that apply to all students on the respective campus.
Is the UMed curriculum incompatible with future plans in academic medicine and research?
Not at all. One of the stated objectives of the UMed curriculum is to educate/train physician leaders. Academic medical centers have historically been at the forefront of care of and research relating to urban residents. Thus, individuals interested in future careers in academic settings would be well served by exploring research during medical school.
Is the Master’s of Public Health (MPH) mandatory for UMed students?
No. The MD/MPH will be an option just like it is for other UIC medical students. The additional learning and exposure that comes from the program in public health builds upon the common framework shared between the two programs.
Am I obligated to seek entry into specific residency programs or specialties?
No. Because of the multitude of needs facing urban residents, any residency program or specialty may be chosen by UMed participants. We expect that the additional activities will enhance the graduate training in any area of medicine.
Is being fluent in a second language a requirement?
Although it is not required to be accepted into the UMed program, fluency in another language may be required to participate at one or more of our partnering sites.
Do I get to choose which LCR site I am with or can I create my own?
You will be paired with an existing partner site. It is a principle of the UMed program that students deliver programming that is not only relevant and applicable to the population being served, but that this programming and relationship is sustainable far beyond your time in medical school.
How does my application to UMed impact my admission to UI COM?
Your application to UMed has no bearing on your admission into UI COM. You must first be admitted to UI COM to be offered acceptance to UMed.