Integrated Pathway Programs

Urban Primary Care Pathway Program

The Urban Primary Care Pathway (UPCP) is a student-centered learning community for students interested in serving diverse and underserved urban populations. The UPCP provides students opportunities to engage with urban issues, train in urban areas, and become advocates for urban health.

Urban areas face unequal and inadequate access to care, particularly in minority populations and primary care. Cities and urban settings face past and present challenges, including access issues, housing discrimination, and racism. Disparities in access are caused and continue to be exacerbated by historic and structural barriers to good health. The following topics are examples of UPCP focus areas:

  • Urbanization
  • Urban primary care
  • Correctional health care
  • Food insecurity
  • Homelessness
  • Infant mortality
  • Mental health
  • Racism

Program Description

NEOMED UPCP students engage in urban seminars and train in underserved urban settings in Cleveland and Akron. The UPCP learning community spans all four years of medical school to engage UPCP students in underserved urban settings. As a first-year UPCP student, students develop close relationships with their first-year peers, upper-level UPCP students, as well as steady support from UPCP faculty and staff. As a continuing UPCP student, they have numerous opportunities to engage in urban seminars, urban service opportunities, and train with urban primary care doctors. The purpose of the UPCP activities is to increase students’ interest and confidence in serving urban communities by providing them with excellent urban training opportunities. The overall goal of the UPCP is to promote lifelong learning, enhance the NEOMED medical student experience and increase student success.


  • Personal and professional development support from UPCP faculty
  • Urban seminar series on urban health issues
  • Urban service opportunities
  • Early exposure to training in urban communities
  • Urban-located clerkships (third-year) and elective (M4) experiences


  • Networking opportunities with healthcare professionals serving urban communities
  • Professional development focused on urban medical careers
  • Access to travel reimbursement and scholarships


Rebecca Johnson, MS, MEd

Integrated Pathway Programs

Department of Family & Community Medicine