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The Program


The Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP) is a four-week, elective immersion experience in community medicine for students between their first and second years of medical school.
During their 4-week rotation, students live in rural or urban underserved communities throughout Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI). They work side-by-side with local physicians providing healthcare to underserverd populations. Administered by the UW Department of Family Medicine, RUOP is a collaborative effort of the UW School of Medicine, WWAMI campuses and the Area Health Education Centers.

Program Goals

  • Provide students with an early exposure to the challenges and rewards of practicing primary care medicine in a rural or urban underserved setting.
  • Promote in students a positive attitude toward rural and urban underserved community medicine.
  • Provide students with an opportunity to learn how community healthcare systems function.
Lauren RUOP
 Summer 2020 RUOP: E-19 Student Lauren McVeigh, Heith Waddell, MD and former Wyoming WWAMI Clinical Dean Larry Kirven outside of Crook County
Hospital and Nursing Home in Sundance, WY.



Dr. Howard Willson Excellence in Primary Care Award for Wyoming

The Howard Willson Excellence in Primary Care Award was created to honor Dr. Howard Willson, a key supporter of the WWAMI program. Dr. Willson served as a member of the UWYO Board of Trustees and the WWAMI Advisory Council. This award is presented to the top primary care project as voted by the judges.
Awardee Awardee Photo Project Title RUOP/Research Site


sutherlandc Adopting a Collaborative Care Approach to Increase Access to
Mental Health Care in Evanston, WY
Evanston, WY



Wyoming American College of Physicians Awards for Wyoming

The Wyoming chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP) awards cash prizes for the best overall research posters.


E-2019 Student Awardees
The winners will receive a cash award and a certificate for their presentations.



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