Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH)

We are pleased to partner with Baystate Health to offer the PURCH track, a new 4-year track toward a medical degree for students wishing to focus on rural and urban primary care and population health.

PURCH is a unique track, established with our new regional campus, the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate (UMMS-Baystate), in Springfield, MA.

Baystate Health is among the largest health systems in New England, providing care to an extremely diverse – and largely under-served – population in both inner city and rural areas of western Massachusetts.

An integrated academic health system, Baystate Health is nationally recognized for innovation in medical education and expertise in population health, clinical effectiveness, and outcomes research.

More about the UMMS-Baystate regional campus

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Why PURCH?

Tomorrow’s Physicians Face Important and Exciting Challenges

The health care field is undergoing a revolution.

Health care reform, escalating drug prices, the physician shortage, controversial medical advances, income inequality, the opioid crisis and changes in primary care are accelerating rapidly. A physician’s perspective must shift to include the many factors influencing a patient’s health, as well as the health of the entire community.

PURCH Prepares You to Meet Tomorrow's Primary Care Demands

The PURCH track provides patient-centered educational opportunities that support your development of both diagnostic excellence and the understanding of the patient experience.

When you graduate, you will be prepared to practice medicine in diverse urban and rural communities, focusing on underserved populations.

PURCH is an Innovative, Immersive Education Experience

PURCH offers an integrated educational experience:

  • Basic science years 1 and 2 at the SOM campus in Worcester with clinical experiences and other educational opportunities at the UMMS-Baystate campus in Springfield
  • Clinical years 3 and 4 with rotations anchored at the UMMS-Baystate campus and the opportunity to do some electives at the SOM Worcester campus

From your first year at medical school, you will start becoming familiar with the faculty, patients, and wide range of clinical training settings where you will do your clerkships and clinical rotations in your third and fourth years.

More about the PURCH track at baystatehealth.org/PURCH

How to Apply to the PURCH Track:

Application to the PURCH Track at UMass Medical School (UMMS) is made through the secondary application process. Applicants interested in the PURCH Track first apply to UMMS through AMCAS. All applicants receive detailed information about the PURCH Track with their secondary application materials. The PURCH Track application is accessible in the UMMS secondary application website. Any questions regarding the PURCH Track and/or policies around opting in or out should be directed to the Office of Admissions at admissions@umassmed.edu or 508 856 2323.

PURCH Track Selection Process:

Those applying to the PURCH Track will be reviewed for the MD program and the PURCH track. Those applicants who are selected for an interview will be invited to participate in the PURCH Track interview process and visit both campuses during a two day visit.

The visit at the main campus will include the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), interactions with first and second year students, along with an overview of UMMS and a tour of the main campus. 

The regional campus portion of the visit will involve PURCH Track candidates spending an additional day at the UMMS-Baystate campus, and will participate in the Multi Mini Interview (MMI) process with Baystate faculty, staff and others. Applicants will also participate in regional campus and community overviews and tours.

PURCH Track applicants must perform satisfactorily in both the MMI and regional campus interview process in order for their application to move forward.

Applicants will be considered for admission to the MD or MD/PhD program and the PURCH track.  

The number of positions available in the PURCH Track is limited to 25. Failure to be accepted into the program will not adversely affect the chance of being admitted to the traditional MD or MD/PhD program. Applicants who withdraw their application from consideration for the PURCH Track will continue to be considered for a position in the traditional MD or MD/PhD program. Please be sure to review our PURCH Track policies around opting in or out. 

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