TRUST Q & A


Why would I want to participate in the TRUST Program?

For students entering medical school with a desire to practice medicine in a rural or underserved setting, TRUST allows Scholars to nurture their interest in rural/underserved care. Our program offers additional opportunities not available to all UW medical students. TRUST Scholars participate in a longitudinal, comprehensive program that includes being assigned to a College Mentor with underserved experience who will be present throughout the Scholar’s medical school journey. In addition to mentoring, Scholars will receive guidance from TRUST staff as they progress through medical school and on to residency. When funding is available, we support TRUST Scholar attendance to regional and national meetings related to rural or underserved healthcare or residency planning. In cases of limited placement opportunities, TRUST students are highly likely to receive placement in their continuity communities in RUOP and WRITE.

Will participating in TRUST require significantly more time in medical school?

TRUST requires some extra time but the activities provide opportunities and experiences that will help guide you on your path to practicing in a rural or underserved community. There is an observation experience before starting medical school as well as observation experiences during the first year. These experiences and monthly correspondence with your TRUST Preceptor fulfills in part some of the requirements of the Underserved Pathway (UP) . Evening seminars and journal clubs, will require some additional time. Most WWAMI students choose to participate in the Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program (R/UOP) experience. Completing WWAMI Rural Integrated Training Experience (WRITE) satisfies part of the third year required curriculum. Attending a national or regional meeting would require some additional time.

Do I have to choose a primary care specialty to participate in TRUST?

No. TRUST Scholars will generally choose a primary care specialty (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or Pediatrics). However, other specialties with physician workforce shortages lend themselves to rural or underserved practices, such as: General Surgery, OB/Gyn, Psychiatry, etc. In general, participating in TRUST will be advantageous preparation for students entering most specialties.

Do I get to choose where I will spend my time?

The exact location for your experiences will be determined after reviewing your application and in consultation with you. We have a limited number of sites available and sites may change from year to year. Therefore, we will make placements based on all the information available during the matching process.

How is the TRUST First Summer Experience different in each state and each continuity community site?

  • Students in Montana will spend 7-14 days at their continuity community sites
  • Students in Washington & Idaho will spend at least 5-7 days at their continuity community sites

How are TRUST visits to TRUST Continuity Communities different at each First Year Campus?

First year visits:

  • Bozeman - Twice during the year, students visit their continuity community sites, arriving on Friday and returning to campus on Sunday.
  • Seattle - Twice during the year, students will arrange with their continuity community mentors an appropriate time to schedule a visit.
  • Spokane - Up to four times per semester. The Spokane campus gives students a few days off per semester for service learning and other activities. TRUST Scholars often travel to their continuity community on the afternoon prior to this day off and return after they spend one day with their continuity community.
  • Moscow - TRUST Scholars will visit during their first year, the frequency of site visits is still yet to be determined.

First year TRUST curriculum:

  • Each of the three first year campuses provide a supportive educational environment for TRUST Scholars. Events are tailored to the resources and schedule of that campus. See the Curriculum page to learn more about each campus.

Where will I complete my third and fourth years of medical school?

TRUST Scholars will complete a WWAMI Rural Integrated Training Track experience (WRITE) during the last 18-22+ weeks of their third year. WRITE allows students to experience continuity of patient interactions. TRUST Scholars will complete the WRITE experience in their continuity community site. When WRITE experiences are not available, alternate experiences will be substituted.

Are TRUST Scholars required to be in their home state for their third year (WRITE)?

Yes. This is a program for students who want to return to their home states. UWSOM students who participate in the WRITE program rate these experiences quite highly and often as the best experience they had in medical school. As a whole students who complete the WRITE program score the same in the standardized board scores, the USMLE, as their peers in the WWAMI region.

What happens if I decide to leave the TRUST program prior to graduation?

TRUST will prepare you to be an excellent physician no matter what your career choice. Experience has shown that students who complete the WRITE program have matched in competitive residency programs. We expect all Scholars to complete the TRUST program. If circumstances arise that could prevent you from completing the program, please contact your regional dean or a TRUST leader as soon as possible to talk about options.

What are small city CHCs?

Community Health Centers (CHCs) are operational in most of the larger communities within Montana and Idaho as well as in some rural areas. Generally, students will be placed in CHCs within communities with a population up to 50,000 people.