Background: There is a need to train compassionate and competent physicians to care for the growing underserved population in this country.
Description: The authors developed the third-year Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience (LACE) Underserved Care pathway at Baylor College of Medicine in 2003 to help interested students prepare to be clinicians who care for the underserved. The pathway curriculum included seminar/journal clubs on relevant underserved care topics, clinical time with an underserved care preceptor, visits to community organizations, an assignment to help an uninsured patient obtain health care funding, and a group project. The authors report on the student evaluations of the first 4 years of the pathway, 2003 to 2007. The Institutional Review Board of Baylor College of Medicine granted this educational study exempt status.
Evaluation: Students highly rated each pathway component in enhancing their knowledge, skills and attitudes. For 2005 to 2007, students rated most knowledge, skills, and attitudes items more highly at the conclusion of the pathway compared to the beginning (p <.05).
Conclusions: The pathway has been successful in enhancing knowledge, skills, and attitudes in underserved care for its participants. Further study is needed to evaluate long-term outcomes of participants in this pathway, including practice setting, knowledge, skills, attitudes, quality of care, and ability to help patients navigate through the health care system and overcome barriers.