The Underserved Pathway mentorship is a longitudinal relationship to support students’ interest and commitment to caring for people who are underserved. Working with a mentor provides early and regular exposure to practicing physicians who can offer valuable insights into what it is like to care for underserved populations. Students are required to schedule and meet with their mentor once per quarter or a minimum of four meetings per year. Meetings can occur via in-person, by phone, web-based conferencing, or e-mail.

Underserved Pathway mentors are health care providers from across the WWAMI region who are involved in the care of underserved populations in a variety of capacities. These mentors are there to answer questions, provide advice, and to support students through their education and professional development. Please read on for important information about completing the mentorship.


Excellent resources:

  • Check out our Undeserved Pathway Mentoring Guide — A guide for mentors and their students




Mentorship Policy:
Students will take the lead in identifying a suitable mentor. Mentors may be physicians or other health professionals (one or more) with whom students have an existing mentoring relationship or with whom they wish to develop a relationship. Students must be matched with a mentor by the end of fall during their second year (E14 and before), or by the end of the Life Cycle & Reproduction Block (E15 and after).  This gives students a chance to explore possibilities through preceptorships, the colleges, RUOP, GHIP, service learning experiences, etc. Many Foundations Phase students will be matched earlier in the year if they identify an appropriate mentor.

If the student no longer feels that maintaining a relationship with the “official” assigned mentor is beneficial, we request that students please notify the UP program coordinator ( immediately so the mentor may be matched with another student. This scenario is not unusual, as student interests and other factors shift throughout medical school. The student is then responsible for identifying a new mentor. UP faculty and staff are available to discuss options with you.

Mentorship & TRUST Scholars:
TRUST Scholars will have a longitudinal relationship with their TRUST preceptor, so their Underserved Pathway Mentor is the same as their TRUST Preceptor. TRUST Scholars need to maintain regular if contact with their TRUST Preceptor / Underserved Pathway Mentor throughout medical school, including times when they are not in the same state. TRUST Scholars UP mentorship requirement is completed, by successful participation in the TRUST program.

Non-clinical students: 

As stated above, an initial UP requirement is to have all current UP students linked to a mentor by the end of fall during your second year (E14 and before), or by the end of the Life Cycle & Reproduction Block (E15 and after). It is important to join the UP close to this deadline, so you are linked you to a UP mentor as quickly as possible. Please specify any potential mentors on your UP application. If you are not aware of any potential mentors, then the UP Program Coordinator will work with you to help identify a UP mentor.

Here is a link to our UP Application:

If you are an expanded student and have not yet started clinical rotations or Patient Care Phase, it may still be possible to join the Undeserved Pathway. Having an existing mentoring relationship and having demonstrated interest in and work with underserved populations will be the main criteria for acceptance. Applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Clinical students:

The UP is a curriculum that spans medical school. Participation in this program is predicated on UP students having a longitudinal experience with the entire UP curriculum:  This includes UP mentors, undeserved non-clinical selectives, underserved community experiences, clinical rotations, UP faculty/staff, and modules. It is for this reason that it is not possible to join the Underserved Pathway in the third or fourth year or during the Patient Care or Career Explorations Phases.

Contact the UP Program Manager, Genya Shimkin ( if you have any questions about this requirement.


UP students: Track your community service hours by using your Underserved Pathway Tracker to update your hours and experiences.

Policies, Deadlines, & FAQ: