Medical College of Wisconsin
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The urban and community health pathway: preparing socially responsive physicians through community-engaged learning. Am J Prev Med 2011 Oct;41(4 Suppl 3):S228-36



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-80053295184 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   43 Citations


One of five options for the new required Medical College of Wisconsin Pathways program, the Urban and Community Health Pathway (UCHP), links training with community needs and assets to prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to provide effective care in urban, underserved settings; promote community health; and reduce health disparities. Students spend at least 10 hours per month on pathway activities: 4 hours of core material delivered through readings, didactics, case discussions, and site visits; and at least 6 hours of experiential noncore activities applying core competencies, guided by an Individualized Learning Plan and faculty advisor. Noncore activities include community-engaged research, service-learning activities or other relevant experiences, and submission of a synthesis paper addressing pathway competencies. The first cohort of students began their pathways in January 2010. Of 560 participating students, 95 (of which 48 were first-year, 21 second-year, and 26 third-year students) selected UCHP. Core sessions focused on public health, social determinants, cultural humility, poverty, the local healthcare system, and safety net. During noncore time, students engaged in projects addressing homelessness, obesity, advocacy, Hmong and Latino health, HIV, asthma, and violence prevention. Students enjoyed working with peers across classes and favored interactive, community-based sessions over didactics in the classroom. Students' papers reflected a range of service and scholarly activities and a deepened appreciation of social and economic influences on health. The UCHP enriches the traditional curriculum with individualized, community-based experiences to build knowledge about health determinants and skills in partnering with communities to improve health.

Author List

Meurer LN, Young SA, Meurer JR, Johnson SL, Gilbert IA, Diehr S, Urban and Community Health Pathway Planning Council


Sabina Diehr MD Professor in the Family Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
John R. Meurer MD, MBA Institute Director, Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Linda N. Meurer MD, MPH Professor in the Family Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Staci A. Young PhD Sr Associate Dean, Professor in the Family Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Attitude of Health Personnel
Community Health Services
Education, Medical
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Health Status Disparities
Medically Underserved Area
Problem-Based Learning
Public Health
Public Health Practice
Social Responsibility
Students, Medical
Urban Health Services