The Primary Care Track is a four-year M.D. program designed to provide students a strong foundation in clinical medicine focused on primary care through longitudinal experiences with patients, lasting relationships with mentoring physicians, and special programming on population health and physician leadership skills.

The Primary Care Track offers:

  • A longitudinal, integrated clerkship curriculum
  • Low faculty-student ratios (often 1:1) and excellent clinical training in both in-house and community settings
  • Preparation for careers in primary care fields
  • Personal and professional development with a highly visible and accessible student support team

Why Primary Care?

For the School of Medicine at UAB, increasing the number of students who pursue a medical career in primary care has become a key component of its mission to serve the state. Alabama, like the rest of the country, cannot provide adequate primary care to its citizens because it simply doesn’t have enough primary care physicians. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 62 of the state’s 67 counties do not have enough primary care physicians to meet the needs of its population.

The School of Medicine created the Primary Care Track to identify students who are interested in primary care careers and engage them throughout their medical education.

About the Program

The Primary Care Track program prepares students for the primary care fields of family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics, and community-based specialties and sub-specialties including OB/GYN, neurology, psychiatry and general surgery.

Years 1 & 2

Students in the Primary Care Track spend their first two years in Birmingham with regular M.D. track students completing the prerequisite basic science curriculum. During these two years, Primary Care Track students will forge mentoring relationships with primary care faculty within Learning Communities and in their Introduction to Clinical Medicine courses. Students will also have opportunities to explore their unique interests and goals through primary care electives and research experiences.

Year 3

Primary Care Track students spend their third year in a longitudinal integrated clerkship on the School of Medicine’s Tuscaloosa Regional Campus, based at the University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences.

During the longitudinal integrated clerkship, students will learn clinical medicine, population health, and the business of medicine in an environment reflective of where most medicine is practiced. They will work alongside faculty in every School of Medicine clerkship discipline to provide acute care, as well as continuity of care, to patients and act as active members of health care teams. Flexibility built into the schedule gives students the opportunity to follow patients multiple settings, including outpatient clinics, inpatient units, nursing homes and patients’ homes.

Year 4

Primary Care Track students will complete three required four-week rotations:

  • Inpatient Acting Internship
    • Rotations on the Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatric or OB/GYN inpatient services
    • Completed on the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus
  • Acute Care Acting Internship
    • Rotations in Adult Critical Care, Emergency Medicine or Surgery
    • Completed on the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus
  • Community Medicine Selective
    • Wide number of rotation options include outpatient Internal Medicine, outpatient Pediatrics, outpatient Family Medicine, Geriatrics, Sports Medicine, Radiology, Urology and Ophthalmology
    • Completed on the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus or an approved community site

Students will also complete 18 weeks of electives that may be completed at any of the four School of Medicine campuses or as an approved visiting rotation at another institution, along with a two-week residency preparation course.