Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine has developed specialized educational tracks to enable students to enhance the focus of their general medical education. Please click here to read the Department of Tracks and Special Programs brochure (PDF).
Global Medicine Track
The Global Medicine Enrichment Track is for those students who have a strong desire to serve in an international capacity, whether employed or as a volunteer. This service may be in many areas, such as medical care, research, or policy planning and assessment. This track provides a survey, exposure and clinical education surrounding multiple aspects of global medicine. It is designed to span 3.5 years of the formal osteopathic education.
Acceptance into the Global Track occurs at the end of the first semester of classes, after submission of an application and meeting the criteria as listed in the application packet. A maximum of 20 students can be accepted into this track. Not all students applying will get a spot in the class. Students must be able to handle the extra workload, and participation of all activities as expected, in order to Pass or Pass with Honors. Students must also be aware of the extra costs (5-10K) for participating in international rotations during their clinical years.
During the first 2 years of medical school, students will pursue a minimum of 90 additional hours of global health education, which includes the principles and goals of public health, the burden of disease in developing and already developed countries, comparative health care systems, global ethics, research and programs to control diseases through specific case studies, development of community assessment programs, tropical, new and emerging diseases, working with multicultural populations and other related selected topics. Students are expected to be engaged in all class activates, and assist with the presentation of some topics of personal interest and assigned to them.
During the last two years, students are expected to successfully complete three global health-related externships. They may be clinical or research oriented. At least two of the activities must involve working overseas. Students can participate in one of the RVUCOM sponsored global outreach trips or set up their own experience with approval. Participating in a Public Health Externship month, or a split language immersion/clinical work experience, or attending a global health conference or workshop may also be accepted for completion of the clinical requirements to graduate from the Global Medicine Track.
Learn more about the Global Medicine: Community and Medical Outreach Program.
All M3 and M4 RVUCOM students are encouraged to participate in at least one international externship, 2-4 weeks in length, during their clinical years. In fact, about 40% of each graduating class has completed some form of international medical training experience during their time spent at RVU. Students may participate in one of the RVUCOM sponsored outreach trips, or set up their own. All students must undergo an academic and site approval process, as well as complete a travel file.
Military Medicine Track
The Military Medicine Track is a track is for those RVU students who are slated to enter active duty service with the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines. These students should exhibit a high level of academic achievement and express a strong interest in becoming a part of this course which provides an overview and introduction to military medicine.
Most students in this track have typically earned a scholarship to attend RVU through the United States Army, United States Air Force or the United States Navy. As such, they have acquired a service obligation of varying length to the branch of the military funding their education. On occasion, other RVU students who are a part of a Guard or Reserve Unit may constitute some of the track members. This track spans a total of 3.5 years of the members’ core educational experience at RVU, beginning in the second semester of the 1st year.
The Military Track will incorporate immersion-based reality training, surgical simulation, information sessions and experiences related to Medical Corps Officer military obligations, leadership/discipline, harsh military environments/field exercises, disaster stabilization/evacuation and triage in combat environments on land, sea, and air.
This track will also function in conjunction with other COM tracks where synergies are evident and possible.
Liaison with community and national leaders / military officers at U.S. posts, bases, medical centers, hospitals and others sites occurs in order to achieve the goals and objectives of this track. Expert guests, military officers, and appropriate civilian physician/teachers will be engaged and hosted at the campus in Parker, Colorado and elsewhere. There is no application process for this track, all Military students are automatically enrolled.
The Physician-Scientist Enrichment Track is designed to provide curricular training to qualified and interested students and will enhance their opportunities to pursue careers in academic medicine. There is a recognized need to increase the number of physician-scientists in all clinical fields, as biomedical research competencies continue to be under-represented in osteopathic medical school curricula and training.
Participation in the Physician-Scientist Track will provide basic training in the knowledge and skills necessary for success as an academic physician, including research types (basic science, clinical, translational, educational, public health, etc.), experimental design, data analysis, the granting process, and proficiency in presentation skills. This track is designed to span 7 semesters of the core osteopathic medical education and will not extend the students’ academic program length. Students are required to present a poster or oral presentation at the College’s Annual Research Day, write a grant at the end of academic Year Two, and complete three research externships during academic Years Three and Four.
Admission to the Physician-Scientist Track is by application, with the following eligibility requirements: interest in a career in academic medicine and demonstration of academic ability by achieving a minimal 84% GPA during the first semester at RVUCOM. Applicants may also undergo an entrance interview by Track faculty. Preferred qualifications include an undergraduate degree in a scientific discipline (biological or physical science); previous experience in a research laboratory; and/or previous experience in a graduate degree program in a discipline with relevance to the biomedical sciences. No more than 8 students will be selected for each class and students must maintain an 84% minimal GPA to stay within the track throughout the first year and a half.
Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track
The goals of the Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track are to identify and foster student interest in eventual medical practice in rural settings. Admission to the Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track should be considered to be a four-year commitment for accepted students. In addition to the unique educational opportunities, there are significant obligations associated with the track in the first two years, as well as in the third and fourth years of training.
Training and experience above and beyond the standard medical school curriculum are necessary to produce physicians who have the confidence and skill to practice in the rural and remote regions of our country. Participants will be given a robust extracurricular education of procedural skills in medicine and surgery that will better prepare them for residency training and practice. The instruction format for this track is primarily clinical and will be taught by instructors with years of practical experience in the field. The track will also cover preventive medicine and public health subjects.
Physicians practicing in a rural or wilderness setting must be skilled in stabilizing and transporting critically ill and injured patients to urban medical centers. Much of the track material will cover life and limb threatening emergencies. During the first two years of medical education, this training will occur using simulators, cadavers, and shadowing opportunities. During the third and fourth year clinical externships, students will train with rural-based medical preceptors in offices, or rural critical access hospitals or rural health clinics for a minimum of four clinical externships.
R&WM track students participate in three capstone courses. Capstone I is a 2-day exercise with rural EMS, Fire Department, and Search and Rescue services in Southwestern Wyoming, or the equivalent. Students are expected to function with emergency personnel performing real-life scenarios in on-scene settings. Capstone II is a 2-day exercise involving simulated avalanche rescue techniques at a Colorado ski area working with ski patrollers. Additionally, training is provided in critical illness or injury associated with remote high altitude environments. Capstone III is a – 3-day exercise that takes place at a ranch in the Northwest Colorado mountains. Students are exposed to common ranching practices including veterinary medicine, and common injuries encountered in the wild. Skills such as signaling, navigation, and outdoor survival previously covered in track meetings on campus, will be reviewed and practiced on this Capstone, along with emergency stabilization and transport skills.
To be considered for the program students must demonstrate a commitment to rural and remote practice and be capable of handling the extra workload required by the track. Applications are considered during the fall semester of the first year for students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine with the initial track activities beginning in the Winter/Spring semester of the first year.
Urban Underserved Medicine Track
Racial and ethnic disparities in health care and lack of qualified manpower have created a serious need for physicians in America’s urban areas. Members of racial and ethnic minority groups, who make up the majority of innercity residents, are less likely than others to receive needed services than those from wealthier communities, as this includes treatment for HIV infection, mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
This track will teach students about health care inequities and disparities within different populations of patients in urban areas. It will also serve to inform and educate young physicians about the suffering of asylum seekers and refugees in the United States, and the disparity between our international humanitarian obligations and our government’s current treatment of people in these situations. At its core, the program will also give students the knowledge and foresight into providing for with patients who may have a different cultural, literacy or socio-economic backgrounds and teach them how to become effective health care providers.
Acceptance into the Urban Underserved Track. URB 5012: Urban Underserved Medicine II (2 Credits) This course is a continuation of URB 5011 Urban Underserved Medicine I. Prerequisite: acceptance into the Urban Underserved Track and successful completion of URB 5011.