TRIUMPH Program Addresses Urban Doctor Shortage
Madison, Wisconsin - The first comprehensive analysis of an innovative urban-medicine training program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has shown that it is meeting the goal of sending students into primary-care residencies in underserved cities.
In addition, of the 19 graduates who have completed their residency, 12 have opted to practice in urban areas – seven of them in Milwaukee. Those in Milwaukee will work in areas where at least 50 percent of their patients live in poverty.
The Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health program (TRIUMPH), launched in 2009, has had 50 students graduate. Seven of the program’s 50 graduates (14 percent) have completed their clinical residency training and will return to Milwaukee to practice, according to findings recently published in WMJ, a journal published by the Wisconsin Medical Society.
The remaining 38 students are still in residency training.
All 50 graduates went on to residencies that emphasized service to people in urban, low-income communities.
“The program is designed to recruit and train students to serve urban, medically underserved communities, and can provide a steady supply of physician leaders,” said Dr. Cindy Haq, the report’s author and professor of family medicine and population health sciences at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
The program is for third- and fourth-year medical students at the School of Medicine and Public Health, and each year 16 students are chosen and relocate to Milwaukee for the last two years of medical school.
The program has had seven groups of students (69 people) move through the entire program starting as third-year students.
The training program is about more than learning medicine, Haq said.
In consideration of the school’s public-health focus, students are matched into community projects, in addition to their clinical training, to gain a full understanding of the patients they will serve.
“Community engagement enables our students to understand the social and economic factors which have a powerful influence on health outcomes, and to build partnerships to promote the health of the public, she said.
In 2016, Wisconsin’s urban areas faced a disproportionate shortage of physicians because, even though only 26 percent of the state’s shortage areas are in urban locations, 44 percent, or about 440,000 people, living in shortage areas are in urban settings, the report demonstrated.
Statewide, Wisconsin will need about 742 additional primary-care physicians by 2030 to meet the needs of its growing population, according to the report.
Date Published: 02/08/2017