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Population-Based Urban & Rural Community Health (PURCH) Track

The Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) Track follows core T.H. Chan School of Medicine curriculum - but with a focus on population health, healthcare disparities and health issues specific to urban and rural communities.

Built By - and For - Our Communities

The lived experience of local residents is brought to all aspects of your PURCH education through our unique non-clinical Baystate Community Faculty who live, work, play, and pray in the communities we serve.

Not Just for Those Interested in Primary Care

Whatever medical specialty you wish to pursue, PURCH’s innovative approach to clinical practice, community engagement, and policy/advocacy provides a solid foundation upon which to build your career.

Gets You Out of the Classroom, Into the Community

Our innovative, immersive learning experiences with under-served populations - such as, veterans, inmates, and homeless shelter clients - teach you to apply population health concepts as an advocate, as well as a clinician.

"The PURCH community challenges, nurtures, and inspires me n my journey through medical school, and the lessons I learn from this group will stay with me throughout my career and life."

—Emily Gang, Class of 2024

Fast Facts about PURCH

PURCH's inaugural cohort of students graduated in 2021
All graduates matched to categorical residency programs - three returned to Baystate Health for their training.

PURCH matriculates approximately 25 students a year.
PURCH's smaller class size makes Brightwood House an exceptionally close learning community.

PURCH is based at the UMass Chan-Baystate regional campus in Springfield.  
For the first 18 months of training, you will spend 2-3 Wednesdays a month at Baystate Health - one of the largest academic health systems in New England.

Please visit the PURCH website for more information about the track. 

How to Apply to the PURCH Track:

Application to the PURCH Track at UMass Chan Medical School is made through the secondary application process. All applicants must select whether or not they wish to apply to PURCH.

Be sure to review our application process for additional details.

PURCH Interview Process:

Those applying to the PURCH Track will be reviewed for both the PURCH Track and the traditional MD program. MD/PhD applicants may also choose to be considered for PURCH.

If you are invited to interview, you will participate in a 2-day virtual interview process that involves a multiple mini interview (MMI) with the main campus in Worcester and another multiple mini interview (MMI) with our regional campus in Springfield, UMass Chan Medical School-Baystate. MD/PhD applicants interviewing for PURCH will have a third, traditional style interview at our main campus in Worcester with the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences as well.

PURCH Selection Process:

There are approximately 25 spots available in the PURCH Track each admissions cycle.

For your PURCH application to move forward you must perform satisfactorily in the MMI at both campuses (and the traditional interview if MD/PhD). You will then have ten days to decide if you want to proceed as a PURCH candidate or opt out and into your degree program of choice only.

Acceptance to the PURCH Track is a joint acceptance between your degree program (MD or MD/PhD) and the PURCH Track.

If you are not accepted into the PURCH Track, you will still be considered for the traditional MD program. The same goes for MD/PhD applicants applying to PURCH.

PURCH Track Policies:

Be sure to review the policies below on opting in or out of the PURCH Track before applying.

Please direct your questions about PURCH to the T.H. Chan School of Medicine's Office of Admissions at or 508-856-2323.