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Equity Innovation Medicine (EquIMED) Program

equiMED - Equity Innovation Medicine logo

EquIMED is a longitudinal, four-year elective offering medical students the opportunity to experience health care and health care delivery models in low resource settings.

Students accepted into the program gain a deep understanding of the barriers that exist in rural, urban, and global health care settings. Core to the elective involves developing innovative tools to solve fundamental problems. Students will draw from clinical experiences to solve real-world problems.

Participants also will:

  • Gain competency in interdisciplinary problem-solving
  • Learn about engineering design and process improvement
  • Experience austere medicine first-hand at one of many international sites
  • Understand the process of change management
  • Build relationships with their cohort
Brett Austin

Choosing to apply to [EquIMED] was definitely the best choice I made during med school. I learned so much more than I could have hoped for: cultural humility, keeping a humble and open mind and approaching situations without preconceived notions. You can’t come up with a solution to an ill-defined problem, and there is always more to learn and practice. Finally, my participation in [EquIMED] and the impact on residency cannot be overstated as every application and interview asked about the program.

Brett Austin  |  Class of 2022, Internal Medicine Resident, The Mayo Clinic

Curricular Overview Heading link

EquIMED spans all four years of medical school. Learning activities include lunch and learn seminars, medical colloquia, online learning, global rural health simulation training, a two-week immersive rotation at a global rural site, local rural site, or local urban site, and a capstone project.

  • Year 1 – Year 2
    • Seminars, online lectures and EquIMED colloquia (32 hours)
  • Year 2 – Year 4
    • Global Rural Health Simulation (80 hours)
    • Austere Innovation (80 hours)
  • Year 3 – Year 4
    • EquIMED Capstone Project (40 hours)

Additional Information:

  • Accepts 8 students per year
  • About 1/3 of the program is independent, self-directed
  • Students may concurrently enroll in EquIMED and UICOMP’s Rural Student Physician Program
  • This is a longitudinal elective. Credit is awarded in M4 year upon completion of requirements
Amber Bennington

I didn’t have a single interview for residency that didn’t touch on [EquIMED]. They [the interviewers] were super excited to talk about the projects and started asking what would this [project] look like if we used it in our community? I even had people ask if they could partner on the project.

Amber Bennington  |  Class of 2022, Pediatrics Resident, University of Arizona College of Medicine

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Saad Kothawala

I love the way the [EquIMED] program is set up. In the first years of medical school, we learn about challenges people face, you learn about what health inequity actually is, the need to address social determinants of health and what it means to be an innovator on a broad level. In our third year, we got to be innovators and go to into community and practice what we learned about. During our fourth year, we got to be leaders, advisors and clinical experts with our projects.

Saad Kothawala  |  Class of 2022, Emergency Medicine Resident, UICOMP