“To prepare physician-leaders to serve underserved urban communities”

What is the Urban Medicine Program?

The UMed program provides an extended curriculum and longitudinal community rotation project to medical students throughout all four years of medical school that focuses on four main themes:

Second year UMed students attend seminars focused on Disparities in Healthcare Access and Outcomes

Some Select Learning Objectives Surrounding Disparities of Health in UMed Include:

  1. Applying epidemiological evidence to make a case for the existence of health disparities and importance of intervention
  2. Describing the stakeholders and the roles they play in conducting community research and interventions
  3. Determining strategies for scanning the literature on a selected topic of health disparities

… and much more!

Both first year and second year UMed students attend seminars focused on Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR)

Some Select Learning Objectives Surrounding CBPR in UMed Include:

  1. Describing the advantages afforded by Community-Based Participatory Research
  2. Illustrating the importance of identifying community-level health needs through the use of Chicago community-level data
  3. Identifying different methods of community-based health interventions
  4. Justification of a logic model with an underlying theory of change

… and much more!

Both first year and second year UMed students attend seminars focused on Diversity and Intercultural Communications

Some Select Learning Objectives Surrounding Diversity and Intercultural Communications in UMed Include:

  1. Recognizing significant measurable aspects of diversity among community areas
  2. Identifying aspects of context and culture in patient interactions
  3. Examining approaches for history taking to solve complex patient problems
  4. Improving and practicing interviewing skills related to community project evaluation

… and much more!

Policy and Advocacy is introduced to the UMed students during their first and second year, then examined in detail during the student’s fourth year

Some Select Learning Objectives Surrounding Policy and Advocacy in UMed Include:

  1. Defining public and health policy
  2. Identifying policy paramours related to student’s community projects
  3. Examining U.S. policy-making infrastructure
  4. Developing strategies for creating policy proposals
  5. Justifying reasons for taking a particular stand on a health policy

… and much more!


The medical care needs of urban residents continue to challenge physicians and others involved in health care delivery. Disparities in health outcomes based on gender, ethnic, and a number of socio-economic factors have been well documented in the literature, and are more likely to be encountered in diverse urban settings.As a leader in educating a diverse physician workforce, the University of Illinois College of Medicine is uniquely positioned to address the preparation of future leaders in urban medicine.

How UMed does it…

UMed provides students with a curriculum presented both in-person and online. The curriculum supports the longitudinal community rotation project, in which students are partnered with a community organization in their first year and expected to implement or improve a program within that community, based on the community’s identified needs.

Is UMed right for you?

Are you committed to working with people of diverse cultural backgrounds?

FACT: The UMed program includes a more diverse set of students than the general UI COM class, such that over 30% of UMed grads identify as an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority.

Have you enjoyed past activities or projects working with urban communities?

FACT: The current UMed students are working with over 20 different urban communities and neighborhoods in Chicago.

Are you interested in understanding and addressing the diverse factors that cause and perpetuate health and health caredisparities in urban communities?

FACT: UMed’s community projects address many of Chicago’s diverse needs including: health education, health career pipelines, smoking cessation counseling for the homeless, health needs assessments and much more!


We would like to sincerely thank the many organizations and individuals who continue to support the Urban Medicine Program.