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Pathways Inquiry and Concentrations (PIC) | Leadership

PIC Program Co-Directors | Anindita Deb MD & Jillian Richmond PhD

Individual Pathway Leaders

  1. Entrepreneurship, Biomedical Innovation and Design - Nathaniel Hafer PhD 
  2. Clinical, Community and Translational Research - Rachel Gerstein PhD 
  3. Education - Alexandra Wink PhD 
  4. Population, Global and Community Health - Anindita Deb MD 
  5. Clinical Care - Geeda Maddaleni MD 
  6. Structural Inequity, Advocacy, and Justice - Jordan Howard-Young, MD 
  7. Health System Science - Jonathan Holdorf MD
  8. PURCH - Sarah McAdoo, MD

Pathways, Inquiry and Concentrations (PIC) Progam

Co-Directors | Jillian Richmond PhD & Anindita Deb MD 
Education Program Specialist: Paweł Chojnowski

The PIC course is designed to provide students with longitudinal experiences to (1) gain skillsets pertinent to their future careers, (2) establish meaningful community partnerships and/or research projects and (3) provide experiential learning opportunities that will strengthen residency program applications. We offer 8 pathways to provide core skillsets necessary to participate in these longitudinal projects as follows: 

Clinical Care | Geeda Maddaleni MD
Education Program Specialist: Isaias Monro

The clinical care pathway will focus on fostering excellence in clinical care. Students will learn about communication, high value care, transitions in care, team-based care, and interprofessional care. Students will become actively involved in exploring the evolving needs of patients and communities, advances in medicine and technology, and stressors on today’s physician. Longitudinal projects may focus on addressing a clinical problem, care gap or patient safety issue via innovation, quality improvement intervention, development of educational materials, or prospective research. 

Clinical, Community and Translational Research | Rachel Gerstein PhD 
Education Program Specialist: Aiesha Sojourner 

Students will develop an understanding of contemporary topics and approaches in medical research. Evidence-based medicine and innovation in treatments or therapies requires that physicians develop critical thinking and analytical abilities as well as the skills needed to synthesize state-of-the art understanding relevant to their projects and eventual specialties. 

Education | Alexandra Wink PhD
Education Program Specialist: Victoria Cohen

Through the Education pathway, students will become active participants in their medical education and develop into physicians who are strong science communicators and community advocates. Within this pathway, students will explore topics including undergraduate and graduate medical education, continuing education for physicians, and patient and community education. Education pathway-specific sessions will include engagement with literature on educational methods and didactic sessions with experts on educational topics. Longitudinal projects may focus on building and evaluating curricula, creating patient and community outreach programs, or educational scholarship. 

Entrepreneurship, Biomedical Innovation and Design | Nathaniel Hafer PhD 
Education Program Specialist: Adam Marowski

Students will learn about new product development using the process of ideation, validation, and prototype creation. Students will learn the essential elements of the Business Model Canvas and Customer Discovery throughout this pathway. Longitudinal projects may focus on new medical device development; creation of software tools to improve diagnosis, management, and monitoring of disease; or clinical assessments of market need for new medical products.  

Health Systems Science | Jonathan Holdorf MD 

Health Systems Science is the 3rd pillar of medical education and where the rubber meets the road in practicing medicine.  It is the foundation of how basic biomedical and clinical sciences translate into delivering the highest quality care for our patients, communities, and population. HSS fundamentally addresses questions such as: Why does the United States have world renowned medical education and research systems, yet disparities, variation, and gaps in healthcare delivery in the US are so widespread? HSS core domains include: Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, Healthcare Delivery Structures/Processes, Informatics, Population/Community/Public Health, Value, Professionalism/Ethics, Interprofessional Care and Healthcare Leadership. The goal of this pathway is to lay the framework to set the learner up for success in a career in medicine that emphasizes improving the delivery of high quality, high value and compassionate healthcare to our patients at both the micro and macro level. Students in this pathway will develop advanced skills in (but not limited to) quality improvement, patient safety, healthcare delivery and leadership while simultaneously having the freedom to explore specific domains aligned with their own personal interests and passions. 

Population, Community & Global Health | Anindita Deb MD  
Education Program Specialist: Paweł Chojnowski

Through the Population, Community & Global Health Pathway, students will gain knowledge in clinical, research and advocacy skills as it pertains to communities and populations in local and global settings. Topics covered will include the global burden of disease, global health systems, social/cultural determinants of health, human rights in healthcare, communicable and non-communicable diseases in global context, refugee and immigrant healthcare, global oral health, barriers to care and ethical case discussions. There are opportunities for summer immersion experiences locally or globally with long-term collaborations in Kenya, Bolivia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and India.  Prior longitudinal projects have included partnering UMMS students with Worcester’s refugee population, impact of COVID-19 on maternal healthcare in Kenya, assessing oral health of Worcester’s homeless population, and a review of mobile laparoscopic surgery campaigns in Bolivia.  

PURCH | Sarah McAdoo MD 

This track specific pathway model aims to prepare future physicians with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to deliver equitable healthcare in both direct patient care and within a system. Students will participate in a community-centered, community-engaged longitudinal curriculum in health equity practice with a focus on the care of underserved populations in urban and rural communities of Western Massachusetts which are disproportionately impacted by persistent social and health inequities. The pathway provides students with a community of practice and experiential learning opportunities to establish Community-Doctor relationships and enhance students’ understanding of how structural racism, power and privilege develop and propagate local SDOH, health disparities and health inequities that adversely impact quality patient care and population health outcomes. 

Structural Inequity, Advocacy, and Justice | Jordan Howard-Young MD 
Education Program Specialist: Aiesha Sojourner 

Students will develop an understanding of the role social structures play in shaping the health of individuals, as well as the role physicians have played historically and currently in sanctioning and perpetuating oppression in structurally vulnerable communities. Using a multidisciplinary approach and critical social theories, we will discuss structural racism, trauma, sexism, intersectionality and standpoint theory, food insecurity, cultural humility, structural competency, systemic homelessness, language access, HIV, mental health inequities, mass incarceration, substance use and harm reduction, reproductive justice, and more. Students will be introduced to the principles of how to make change through community organizing and effective interpersonal and public advocacy. The pathway focuses on fostering critical thinking and challenging assumptions, with the ultimate goal of training physicians who are effective advocates for meaningful change within their practices and their communities. 


Updated August 10 2022 | PSC