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Pathways in Health Care Program

Background and Overview 


The Pathways in Healthcare Program is an elective longitudinal learning experience designed to expose students to domains in healthcare at the systems level. For each pathway, there are major initiatives happening within the larger health system; this represents a great opportunity for students to find mentorship and projects in areas which represent key strengths of our school. The current set of pathways include:

The Pathways program will entail electives (incremental to the core curriculum) throughout a student’s time in medical school. To complete a pathway, students will need to fulfill the requirements designated for that pathway in terms of participation in elective coursework, assessment of knowledge and skills, completion of a project and capstone exercise.


Why You Should Consider the Pathway

Your participation in the Pathways program is an excellent way to explore professional direction. Each Pathway program will also provide additional sources of faculty mentorship and opportunities to participate in meaningful projects. Participation in the program will give you additional knowledge, skill, and experience in an important domain of healthcare which will also help you distinguish yourself as you apply for residency programs.


Pathway Objectives

Although each pathway will have their individual objectives, the general objectives for the Pathways program are:

  • Provide opportunities for deeper learning in important domains in healthcare
  • Connect students to faculty and projects within the larger healthcare system at UUH
  • Promote professional direction for students and help them become more attractive to residency programs


Example Activities Within the Pathways

The Pathways program will feature a highly “hands-on” approach towards learning. Beyond didactics learning, pathways will also include experiential learning, project-based learning, and mentorship. Examples of activities include:

  • Value-Driven Healthcare: participation in patient safety investigation and root cause analysis
  • Personalized Medicine: touring ARUP Laboratories, the University’s national reference lab and a leader in developing genomics-based clinical diagnostic tests
  • Population Health: visit 2-4 community programs or agencies that have an impact on population health such as Utah Food Bank, Mobile health van, Community clinics, reservation clinics
  • Health Promotion and Integrative Health: Culinary Medicine, Manual Medicine, Mindfulness. Individual electives can be arranged with University faculty or community practitioners.


General Progression

The Pathways program is meant to be longitudinal, which means that there will be pathway activity for each year. Although each pathway will have their own specific activities, the general tone of activities are as follows:

  • MS1: Students will have the opportunity to sample different pathways through elective work.
  • MS2: Students will continue to take pathway electives to gain more depth within the pathway. Students will have opportunities to work with mentors on pathway projects.
  • MS3: Students will maintain contact with their pathway mentors and look for opportunities to apply pathway-specific skills in their clerkship year.
  • MS4: Students will participate in pathway electives, work on projects with mentors, and complete their capstone.


Participation in the pathway is on an elective basis. Students are encouraged to explore the pathways program in their first and second years of medical school.



For any further questions please contact:

Kerri Shaffer, MEd, MLIS
Director of Curriculum and Faculty Support