Tracks are competitive, optional, curricular programs, outside of the core curriculum, offered through the Department of Tracks & Special Programs. Tracks will appear on the student’s transcript as a Concentration. There is an application process for all Tracks. The educational objectives and contents of each Track are in addition to the required core curricula and are outlined in the Track syllabi. Students may apply to one or more of the tracks towards the end of their first semester. However, they can only participate in one track. If accepted into a track, students are expected to attend all track classes and related labs in addition to the core curriculum of RVUCOM.  

A student will stay in their chosen track through the duration of their education unless they withdraw voluntarily, are withdrawn due to violation of the track requirements, or are in violation of the Code of Student Conduct and Academic Responsibility as presented in the RVU Student Handbook and Catalog. Students who are repeating for academic reasons are not eligible for a track.

Applications for all tracks open in the fall and close towards the end of the semester. The tracks start in January of the OMS I year and follow the course of the student’s education.  

Tracks are graded on an Honor/Pass/Fail basis. Each track will have its own requirements for acceptance and what constitutes a Pass or Honor grade. Please refer to each specific track's syllabus for the grading requirements.

Track options may vary at each location.

Academic Medicine and Leadership Track

With the expansion of medical schools and residency programs in the United States there is a growing demand for well-trained academic physicians who will lead in complex and diverse healthcare settings. There is also a need for talented leaders and educators in the osteopathic medical profession as it expands.

Students in this specialty track will learn about various, multi-faceted topics in medical education, organized medicine, health policy, diversity, health disparities, and leadership development. Students will receive training to be an effective public speaker, educator, health advocate, and physician leader. Contemporary health challenges require that leaders understand how to lead teams, understand diverse groups, build coalitions, and be attentive to communities.

Digital Health Track 

The Digital Health Track aims to provide an intensive survey, exposure and clinical education surrounding a multitude of aspects of digital health over two semesters, and into OMS years 3 and 4 which will have a clinical requirement. In total, this will include over 60+ hours of classroom/clinical activities. Our goal is to promote continuity and applicability of education for the students who have been accepted into the DH track program, successfully complete it, and ultimately integrate digital health knowledge into their GME training and health care careers. This track is designed for students who have a strong desire to become leaders in the forefront of this rapidly advancing, innovative approach to healthcare. 

Note: you do not need to know how to program or 'code' or have any prior experience in digital health to apply to this track.

Global Medicine Track 

The Global Medicine Track is for those students who have a strong desire to better serve the global community either locally or 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 (typically 30+ hours/semester of course work)and be willing to participate in off-campus activities. Specific topics may vary between each campus, but the overall goals are the same. When appropriate, topics may be teleconferenced between campuses and occasionally combined with other tracks. Students must also be aware of the extra costs associated with this track in order to complete the required international clerkships or other global-related options during their clinical years. These costs will vary depending on the length and type of activities chosen but could range from $2,000 to $10,000. The requirements for successful completion of this track are outlined in the course syllabi.   

Physician-Scientist Track

The Physician Scientist (PS) Track is an elective course that provides students with additional, specialized training in addition to the core curriculum. Students selected to be a part of the PS program have demonstrated high academic achievement and interest in research. RVU recognizes the importance of research in medicine and clinical practice and encourages both student and faculty involvement in scholarly endeavors - the PS program highlights RVU’s commitment to research within the COM.  

This course provides students with exposure to the scientific method and the many aspects of conducting independent research, exploring the key components at each step in the scientific process. The types of research highlighted in this course may include basic science, clinical, translational, and medical education research. The students in this track have a strong desire to understand what is required to be a successful principal investigator and may pursue supervised research during track time as part of their career development.  

The PS program will function in conjunction with other COM enrichment tracks when possible, as individuals in the other tracks may pursue research projects based on their activities.  

This course will span three semesters of the students’ formal education (years 1 and 2), and will be extended to include research rotations during years 3 and 4.

Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track

The goals of the 3.5-year Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track are to identify and foster student interest in eventual medical practice in rural settings. 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 commitment to rural and remote practice and be capable of handling the extra work load required by the track. Admission criteria includes an in-person interview by R&WM students and faculty.

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. Students in the Rural and Wilderness Track will be expected to participate in off-campus activities. 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, 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 clerkships.

Students will learn a hands-on experience, 5-6 credit track are exposed to a robust extracurricular education; learning skills applicable to medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, OB & more. This track may offer unique off-campus, rural and wilderness Experiential Field Activities (EFAs), during the first 2 years.  Then, students are required to complete 4 rural externships in their clinical years.

Urban Underserved Track
(Colorado Campus Location 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 exposed to these communities through opportunities to engage with families and individuals, clinics, and wherever compassionate care is given to vulnerable populations that may include: American Indians/Alaska Natives, Immigrants, Refugees, LGBTQ+ individuals, and the Homeless.

The Urban Underserved Track is meant to be a collaborative effort to discuss important topics for the vulnerable and underserved. We do this in a safe and liberal space where your opinion matters and is not judged or reported. We bring in guest speakers who have experience in the topic of discussion. The Urban Underserved Track annually visits the Arapahoe County Detention Center on a field trip to learn about the care of the incarcerated. Articles, short stories, graphic novels, and documentaries/movies are used to stimulate discussion. The capstone of the class will be PowerPoint presentations on a vulnerable population with strategies to overcome implicit barriers.

Topics covered may include Maternal/Child Health, LGBTQ+, Disparities in Healthcare and Health Insurance, Cultural Competency, Opioid Epidemic Response, Social Equity and Gentrification, among others. Clinical requirements will take place in M3/4 years.

This track will complement 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.