UAB Receives Grant to Train Physicians for Rural and Underserved Areas

UAB Receives Grant to Train Physicians for Rural and Underserved Areas

Irfan Asif, MD examines a patient

The Department of Family and Community Medicine at UAB has been awarded a $7 million grant from United States Department of Health and Human Services to train additional family medicine physicians to serve in rural and underserved areas of Alabama. The grant will enable the department to develop novel high school and college pipeline programs, medical student programming, and faculty development programs to enhance curriculum and mentoring efforts.

"Currently, our state needs more than 600 additional primary care providers to meet the needs of the patients and the kinds of health conditions that we will be seeing by 2030," said Irfan Asif, MD, chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. "To address this deficit, we must be aggressive in the primary care programming that we develop and implement. This grant will go a long way toward helping us achieve that goal."

The department's enriched training program, the Comprehensive Urban Underserved and Rural Experience (CU2RE), will address six core areas related to interprofessional education, behavioral health, social determinants of health, cultural and linguistic competency, practice transformation, and telehealth. This year, the department will implement a program that will draw students into a medical student urban underserved pathway to complement existing rural programming. Over the next year, both urban and rural underserved programming will expand significantly within the UAB School of Medicine.

"We will tap into our regional campuses across the state to help broaden our reach, as well as partner with programs such as the Alabama Area Health Education Center, Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and others to identify high school and college students with a passion for service," Asif said.