Student Spotlight

Emilie Mathura, OMS I

Class of 2023

  • Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology
  • Clubs and Activities: Student Government Association, OB/GYN Club, American Medical Women's Association, and Medical Students for Choice.

Why did you choose RVUCOM? The Urban Underserved Track and the sabbatical program which will allow me to complete my Master of Public Health...
Read More

Faculty Spotlight

Cathy Ruff, MS, PA-C

Program Director and Chair of Physician Assistant Studies
Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

  • Hometown: Dearborn, Michigan
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular Biology
  • Graduate Studies: Master of Science degree in Cellular/Molecular Biology. Physician Assistant Training at the University of Colorado Health Science Center.

What class/classes do you teach? I teach professionalism topics, Physical Exam, and small group skills. Why did you choose...
Read More

Tracks and Special Programs

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine has developed several specialized educational tracks and programs to further develop the education of interested students.



Academic Medicine and Leadership Track

(Utah campus only)

The Academic Medicine and Leadership Track is for those students interested in receiving specialized training in various areas of academics and leadership development. With the expansion of medical schools and residency programs, there is a growing demand for well-trained academicians and faculty. There is also a need for more physician leaders in health policy to help shape healthcare in America. Students in this specialty track will learn about various, multi-faceted topics in academics, medical education, organized medicine, health policy, and leadership development. The student will be trained in skills to be an effective public speaker, educator, and physician leader.

The track will be a continuum of two consecutive semester courses starting in the second semester of the first year and ending with the first semester of the second year. The educational objectives and contents of this track will be in addition to the required core curriculum.


Digital Health Track

(Beginning in January 2020)

The Digital Health Track advances current undergraduate medical education by enabling and equipping its students with the ability to effectively solve complex health care challenges through the utilization of technology in the ever-evolving field of medicine. This track incorporates training in artificial intelligence, remote monitoring, ethics in use and application of technology, clinical informatics, telemedicine and telehealth, population health analytics, entrepreneurship in healthcare, social media in medicine, systems change, personalized medicine and genomics, nanotechnology in healthcare, and much more.

Digital health is not a new concept and has already changed how health care is sought and delivered. The advent of the internet, electronic health records, digital imaging, and countless other innovations have transformed patient care for the better. Today, digital health refers to the use of any hardware or software solution which aids health care professionals and patients in the promotion of health and wellness.


Global Medicine Track

The Global Medicine 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 the multiple aspects of global medicine and public health. It is designed to span 3.5 years of the formal osteopathic education.

In addition to the unique educational opportunities, there are significant obligations associated with this Track in the first 1.5 years, as well as in the clinical years of training. Students must be able to handle the extra workload of a minimum of 60 additional hours of coursework and participate in all off campus activities as expected, in order to pass each semester. Specific topics may vary between each campus, but the overall goals are the same. When appropriate, topics may be teleconferenced between campuses. Students must also be aware of the extra costs associated with this track ($5,000-10,000) in order to complete the required international externships or other global-related options during their clinical years. The requirements for successful completion of this track are outlined in the course syllabi.

Learn more about the Global Medicine: Community and Medical Outreach Program.


Long Term Care Track

(Utah campus only)

The Long Term Care Medicine Track is a course which will provide students with specialized training and experience in longitudinal medical care. With the rapidly aging population and increasing needs for long term care resources, there is a growing demand for physicians to lead in quality management of longitudinal care services. Students in this specialty track will learn various, multi-faceted topics in continuity of Post-Acute, Long-Term Care, End-of Life Care, and Palliative and Hospice Care. Students will be assigned to a nursing home resident and will actively participate in the longitudinal care of his or her assigned patient. Students will develop long-term relationships as health advocates for wellness and help their patients achieve the healthiest, highest quality of life possible in their current stage of life.

The track will be a continuum of 2 consecutive semester courses starting in the second semester of the first year and ending with the first semester of the second year.


Physician-Scientist Track

(Colorado campus only)

The Physician-Scientist 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 3.5 years 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 two research externships during academic Years Three and Four.


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 3.5-year commitment for accepted students. In addition to the unique educational opportunities, there are significant obligations associated with the track in the first 1.5 years, as well as in the clinical years of training. 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. Admission criteria includes an in-person interview by R&WM students and faculty along with a review of applicants’ grades and overall academic status.

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 rural and remote regions. 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. Students in the Rural and Wilderness Track will be expected to participate in off-campus activities. These activities will be highlighted and detailed in the appropriate track syllabi. 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 1.5-years of medical education, this training will occur using simulators, cadavers, and shadowing opportunities. During the clinical years, students will train with rural-based medical preceptors in offices, rural critical-access hospitals, or rural health clinics for a minimum of four clinical externships.


Urban Underserved Medicine Track

(Colorado campus only)

This two-semester enrichment track will provide RVUCOM students with the knowledge, understanding, training, and experience to work effectively with underserved populations. Students will be able to engage in the community-based health needs of specific populations living in Denver, Colorado, and provide an extremely needed service. This track will compliment other RVU programs providing students the opportunity to collaborate with allied health fields such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and patient navigators in an organized setting.

Special Programs

Military Medicine Enrichment Pathway

The Military Medicine Enrichment pathway is primarily for RVUCOM-CO and RVUCOM-SU students who are slated to enter active duty service with the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines. Most students in this pathway have typically earned a scholarship to attend RVUCOM-CO or RVUCOM-SU 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, or those considering military service or with prior military experience may constitute some of the pathway members. 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.

The Military Medicine Enrichment Pathway 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. 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 Program.

This Program spans a total of 3.5 years of the members’ core educational experience at RVUCOM-CO or RVUCOM-SU, beginning in the second semester of the first year.


International Externships

Offered through the Department of Tracks and Special Programs. All third- and fourth-year RVUCOM students are encouraged to participate in at least one international externship. In fact, about 40% of each graduating class has completed some form of international medical training experience during their time spent at RVU.

This should be a two- to four-week excursion during their clinical years. Students may participate in one of the RVUCOM-sponsored trips, trips planned by an outside agency, or set up their own. All students must undergo an academic and site approval process, as well as complete a travel file with the Department of Tracks and Special Programs. There are detailed guidelines as to the process for participation outlined in MyVista.