Primary Care Pathway

This program has been supported by a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant (T99HP33560) developed to enhance medical student’s educational experience in preparing them to serve populations in rural and underserved areas. The Primary Care Pathway (PCP) is a longitudinal, 4-year curriculum emphasizing clinical instruction focused on the broad skills necessary for primary care practice. It accomplishes this by:

  1. Adding critical content areas to students learning experience that enhances students preparation to serve this community
  2. Developing a curriculum in creative formats to enhance student learning experiences
  3. Purchasing telehealth technology, services, and training for sites allowing service providers to leverage technology to better serve their clientele
  4. Providing training and support for site supervisors who will mentor students
  5. Arranging clerkship experiences at one site over 4 years in order to facilitate longitudinal relationship allowing students to deepen their learning experience in this environment
  6. Recruiting high school students through a health career exploration program that incorporates them into care teams during the summer.
  7. Collaborating with sites to have medical students carry out Summer Quality Improvement Scholarly activities ($2500 for 8 week activity).

There are many exciting opportunities within the program. Students will be chosen for the Primary Care Pathway Program based on an interest in primary care and a willingness to commit to the practice following residency training. 

Applications will open in August.


▼   What does it involve?

Year 1 and 2

  • Eight, one hour sessions (some individual preparation may be required)
  • 14 days of clinic experience in the same community-based primary care clinic
  • Summer Quality Improvement project with a presentation
  • Coaching sessions with Faculty Fellows

Year 3

  • Scholars assigned to clinic site for primary care clerkships of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, or Pediatrics
  • 4-week PCP Selective at site
  • Participate in six didactic sessions on Leadership and identify an individual Leadership Learning Plan
  • Coaching sessions with PCP Fellows encompassing culturally responsive Medicine
  • Take an Acting Internship in a primary care field of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics

Year 4

  • Complete a 4-week Capstone Practice Management/Leadership project at site
  • Complete a 4-week elective in Basic Science Related to Primary Care
▼   What’s in it for me as a medical student?
  • $2500 for Summer Research project
  • Research directly applied to the clinic and community served
  • Compensation for travel to sites
  • Exposure to continuity of care
  • Ongoing supplemental education in underserved and rural populations
  • Training with same site and site supervisors for 4 years.
  • Recognition as PCP Scholar
  • Mentor other students at sites
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement Certification
  • Longitudinal 4 year primary care clinical experience
  • Telehealth on-site training with newest technology available
  • Enhanced curriculum focused on developing skills for providing effective primary care
  • Specialized training in:
    • Population Health Sciences
    • Team Science/Interprofessional Experiences (IPE)
    • Culturally Responsive Medicine
    • Quality Improvement
    • Patient Safety
    • High-Value Care
    • Behavioral Health
    • Leadership
  • Spend significant time in hands-on work in a community based primary care setting
  • Students can participate in real-time with campus-based activities while at sites through web conferencing
  • Telehealth education sessions
▼   What Summer Scholarly activities are available?

These activities are intended to benefit the specific community and population that each clinic serves.  To meet this intended outcome, sites and preceptors at these sites will be queried to determine what quality Improvement (QI) projects they feel are most needed at their site.  These will vary according to the needs of each site and will change over time as the clinic incorporates changes and develops over time.  Some sample topics might include:

  • Improving Pediatric Immunization Rates
  • Screening Mothers for Postpartum Depression at Postpartum Visits in an Outpatient Women’s Health Clinic
  • Telehealth Technology Use in Remote and Rural Populations
  • UpHint: A Quality Improvement Intervention to Improve Appointment Adherence
▼   How do I get involved?

Whom can I contact with additional questions?

Autumn Phillips
Medical School Site Coordinator
Phone: (251) 460-7691

Emmaline Barnhill 
Project Manager

▼   Pathway faculty

Allen Perkins, Principal Investigator

Dr. Perkins is Professor and Chair of Family Medicine and the principal investigator for the project. He has expertise in faculty development, the design and implementation of curricula and is involved in curriculum evaluation and design at a national level. He has over 25 years of experience in medical education, much of it with curriculum development.


Benjamin Estrada, M.D.

Dr. Estrada is a Professor of Pediatrics and the Assistant Dean for Medical Education. He has over 25 years of experience in medical education including experience in curriculum design, implementation, and evaluation in the clinical and preclinical years.


T.J. Hundley, M.D.

Dr. Hundley is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and currently the Associate Dean for Medical Education and oversees that division in the College. He has over 20 years of experience in medical education including curriculum design, implementation, and evaluation, primarily in the clinical years.


Melody Petty, M.D.

Dr. Petty is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. She has won multiple teaching awards and has an interest in reducing health disparities and caring for the underserved.  She will be a curricular subject matter expert, a site resource for pediatricians engaged in clinical education, a mentor for students, and will serve as faculty for the PCP Scholars program.


Julie Estis, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Estis is an international expert in faculty development. Her expertise includes introducing key concepts through team-based learning. She also has extensive experience in program implementation and assessment, interprofessional training and simulation.


Casey Daniel, Ph.D.

Dr. Daniel is an expert in population health. Her work has focused on early detection and treatment of cancers amenable to screening. She has extensive expertise in mentoring students and in project design, implementation, and evaluation.


Autumn Phillips
On Campus Site Coordinator

Carla Carpenter
Program Coordinator

Victor Wangondu
Systems Analyst

Andy Cobb
Data Analyst