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Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ's are broken into 5 sections:

  1. General Information
  2. Application Process
  3. Residency Training
  4. Intermountain Health Employment
  5. Financial Assistance

Please read more details about each section below. 

Please email with any additional questions that you have that aren't covered in the FAQ's.

    1) What is the goal of this program?
    Intermountain Health is working on a transformative model for the future of healthcare called population health that focuses on keeping people in communities healthy and pre-emptively addressing cause of illnesses, rather than just treating people when they are sick. This program is focusing on training the next generation of physicians in population health, which focuses on keeping people and communities healthy and addresses factors that can lead to illness and injury in an effort to prevent those from occurring. 

    2) What is Intermountain Health?
    Intermountain Health is a team of more than 59,000 caregivers who serve the healthcare needs of people across the Intermountain West, primarily in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. Intermountain Health is an integrated, not-for-profit health system based in Salt Lake City, Utah, with clinics, a medical group, affiliate networks, hospitals, homecare, telehealth, health insurance plans, and other services. Physicians from Intermountain Health will be involved in mentoring students through the program and beyond. Intermountain Health will ultimately employ scholars upon completion of the program..

    3) What is the Spence Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah?
    With a new curriculum, one of the most modern teaching facilities in the country, and world-class researchers, the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah is one of the nation's most competitive physician training programs. In addition, the school's master's and doctoral programs rank among the best in the country, giving students exposure to some of the nation's leading clinicians and researchers.

    4) What are the requirements if I become a Population Health Scholar?
    There are multiple expectations of population health scholars. First, Scholar's must complete a Graduate Certificate in Population Health Science during their 4 years of medical school. Second, Scholar's must participate in all required program activities (e.g., monthly lunches, bi-annual events, etc.). It's also encouraged for Scholars to be interested in pursuing a career in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, General Surgery, or Psychiatry and want to be employed with Intermountain Health upon completion of residency. 

    5) What is the Graduate Certificate in Population Health Science?
    This certificate is comprised of classes outside our core curriculum which emphasize population health. Students complete 15 credit hours in courses exposing students to population health related concepts such as Community Health, Health Economics and Policy, Health Informatics and Data, Health Systems, and Population Medicine. As part of the certificate, students are also required to complete a population health related capstone project.

    6) If I am interested in other certificates and pathways, can I do the Population Health Pathway and another pathway at the same time?
    It is possible to do multiple pathways and graduate certificate's at the same time. There are several elective pathways available at UUSOM, including Value Driven Health Care, Wellness, Students as Teachers, Global Health, Tribal and Urban Underserved Health, RUUTE Scholars, and many more that students are encouraged to explore. However, scholar's will still be required to complete the Graduate Certificate in Population Health Science outlined above in addition to the other activities they choose to participate in. If Scholar's fall out of good standing in the Graduate Certificate for Population Health Science, they could lose eligibility to receive program funding.  

    1) How do I apply to the Intermountain Health Population Health Student Scholar's Program?
    The application for the program is embedded in the School of Medicine's Secondary Application. All individuals who receive a secondary application will have an opportunity to complete the program application by selecting they are interested in applying to the scholar's program (within the secondary application).

    2) Who can participate in this program?
    Incoming medical students accepted to the University of Utah School of Medicine.

    3) If I am a current medical student at UUSOM now (who has already matriculated), can I become a Population Health Scholar?
    Unfortunately not. This program is only available for incoming 1st year medical students.

    4) What are the criteria to select the incoming Population Health Scholars?
    A strong background and history of working with and serving diverse populations and experience in population health related educational opportunities. Encouraged activities include serving underrepresented and underserved patient populations, experiences in primary care related fields, and experience in population health related education (e.g., research, coursework). Applicants will have the opportunity in their application to highlight these experiences and speak to how their personal experiences will make them a good candidate for the program.

    5) Can incoming students who are not Utah residents apply?
    Yes, interested students who are not Utah residents are encouraged to apply to the program. Preference may be given to incoming students who are from the Intermountain West region, or are from the following states: Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado. Incoming students from Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming will still be bound by established agreements with the state of Idaho, WICHE (Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education) and UUSOM.

    6) I was accepted into the Promise2U program. Will I have the opportunity to apply to be a Population Health Scholar?
    Yes! As part of the Promise2U program, participants need to re-apply to the UUSOM. Applicants will have the chance to apply to Population Health Scholars at that time and have their application be considered. We envision Promise2U and Population Health Scholars to complement each other.

    7) I was accepted as a RUUTE (Rural and Underserved Utah Training Experience) Scholar. Can I also be a Population Health Scholar?
    Yes! RUUTE Scholars is not considered a pathway per se and instead focuses on experiences and activities in rural and underserved communities throughout medical school. We envision RUUTE Scholars and Population Health Scholars to complement each other.

    8) I was accepted to the MD/PhD program. Can I also be a Population Health Scholar?
    While becoming a physician scientist is valued within the scope of Population Health and the Scholars program, MD/PhD candidates cannot participate in the Population Health Scholars program at this time.

    1) Do I have to do my residency training at the University of Utah, or Intermountain Health?
    No. Participants will be encouraged to pursue the residency training program of there choice, regardless of where it is located or what health system it is part of. However, there are specific parameters around specific specialties that are outlined below.

    2) Do I have to pursue a specific specialty residency training program?
    To meet the loan forgiveness requirements of the program, participants must pursue residency training in 1 of 6 population health specialties: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, or General Surgery. 

    3) What if I pursue a residency outside of those listed above?
    If you pursue a specialty outside of those listed above, it may impact your ability to receive loan forgiveness. If you choose an alternative specialty, you will need to meet with the leadership committee for the program to see if you will maintain eligibility for loan forgiveness and an employment offer with Intermountain. While their is a chance you can still maintain eligibility for loan forgiveness, this is up to the discretion of the committee. It is highly encouraged you pursue a specialty in one (1) of the six (6) listed above.

    4) Can I pursue a fellowship upon completion of residency?
    If you pursue a fellowship, it may impact your ability to receive loan forgiveness. If you choose to pursue a fellowship, you will need to meet with the leadership committee for the program to see if you will maintain eligibility for loan forgiveness and an employment offer with Intermountain. It is highly encouraged obtain employment with Intermountain Health and receive loan forgiveness before pursuing a fellowship.

    1) Which Intermountain Health facilities will I need to work in one day as part of this agreement?
    Employment at any Intermountain Health facility (including hospital and/or clinic) fulfills the work obligation requirement to receive loan forgiveness. Participants of the program will work closely with Intermountain leadership and their recruitment team to obtain employment offers. 

    2) What specialty will I need to pursue to fulfill this agreement?
    Primary care will be prioritized and recommended, including Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Psychiatry, and General Surgery.

    3) If I match into an Intermountain Health residency program will this count towards time working at an Intermountain Health facility?
    No. Your time in an Intermountain Health residency program will not count towards your work obligations to an Intermountain Health facility. Your work obligations will begin post residency training and begin once you are a practicing physician with Intermountain Health.

    4) How long is the employment obligation to receive loan forgiveness for participation in the program?
    Because participants receive 4 years of financial assistance during medical school, the work requirement to receive loan forgiveness for the entire loan is 4 years working as a practicing physician for Intermountain Health.

    1) Will I receive tuition assistance for participating in the Population Health Scholars program?
    Scholars will receive 50% of tuition and fees (at a UT resident rate) covered for up to four (4) years for their participation in the program.

    2) I was classified as a non-resident for tuition purposes, does this impact my ability to receive financial assistance?
     The main difference between a UT and non-UT resident, is if a non-resident gets accepted into the program, they receive half of their tuition and fees covered at a Utah resident rate and are encouraged to reclassify to a UT resident upon completion of their 1st year of medical school. Non-residents are highly encouraged to apply to the program.

    3) If I drop out of the program at any point during medical school, will I need to payback any funds received?
    Yes. Repayment of the funds received with interest is expected for students who withdraw from the program either during medical school or residency. However, the repayment (with interest) would be deferred until after completion of residency.

    4) Is this considered a scholarship?
    This is not a scholarship. Instead, this is a forgivable loan. This means the loan can be forgiven in entirety upon completion of the work service requirement with Intermountain Healthcare.

    5) If I do not end up working at an Intermountain Health facility after residency, how much will I need to payback?
    Participants who do not end up employed with Intermountain Health due to their personal preference (all participants are guaranteed an employment offer) with be required to repay (with interest) the entirety of funds received from participation in the program.

    6) Are there any tax considerations?
    Medical students need to be aware that there may be tax consequences associated with any forgiveness of the work obligation loan, and we advise that they coordinate with the financial aid office and/or tax advisors.

    7) If I receive a large scholarship, decide to join the military, become a National Health Service Corps (NHSC), or focus more on research in my career, etc., how will these scenarios impact being a Population Health Scholar?
    Every situation is unique. As medical students evolve and grow during their time here at the UUSOM, they are expected to regularly meet with Population Health Scholar leadership to review these types of scenarios and address questions that may arise.

    8) How long will I be required to work at Intermountain Health to receive loan forgiveness?
    To receive loan forgiveness for the entire loan, students will be required to work at an Intermountain Health facility for four (4) years. Loan forgiveness will be given at a 1:1 ratio – for every year a student receives the loan the student will be required to work a year at an Intermountain Health facility.