Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP)

Program Overview

The Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP) is a four-week, elective immersion experience in community medicine for students between their first and second years of medical school. During their 4-week rotation, students live in rural or urban underserved communities throughout Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI). They work side-by-side with local physicians providing health care to underserved populations. Administered by the UW Department of Family Medicine, RUOP is a collaborative effort of the UW School of Medicine, WWAMI campuses and the Area Health Education Centers. It is also supported by the Washington and Idaho Academies of Family Physicians. For more information, contact the RUOP Administrative Offices.

Program Goals

  • Provide students with an early exposure to the challenges and rewards of practicing primary care medicine in a rural or urban underserved setting.
  • Promote in students a positive attitude toward rural and urban underserved community medicine.
  • Provide students with an opportunity to learn how community health care systems function.