CALS Connection Winter 2012/2013 : Page 3

FSHN Student Takes the Fast Track to Underserved Medicine By Nicolus Hartley F ood science and human nutrition senior Chelsea Wiltjer is one of only four students accepted into the inaugural class of a new early acceptance program for the University of Florida College of Medicine. The goal of the Rural and Urban Underserved Medicine Track, established and directed by Nancy Hardt, M.D., is to enroll academically excellent juniors who demonstrate a sincere interest in rural or urban medicine in underserved populations. This eight-year B.S. or B.A./M.D. medicine track will accept as many as six juniors each year based upon academic requirements, volunteer activities and other factors. Admitted students do not have to take the MCAT for medical school entrance and can focus their attention on learning about the needs of underserved populations while gaining hands-on experience. RUUM students focus especially on those who cannot help themselves. They spend a great deal of time volunteer-ing with the Mobile Outreach Clinic developed and directed by Hardt. The Mobile Outreach Clinic travels to areas throughout Gainesville providing health care to people who do not have health insurance. Wiltjer said her background in food science and human nutrition has helped her be a more effective Mobile Outreach Clinic volunteer. “I am able to really talk to the patients in the mobile clinic about their health and proper nutrition,” said Wiltjer. Many new and emerging populations are at risk for health disparities in health care access and outcomes due to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, culture, geography, social factors and more, said Laura Guyer, Ph.D., administrator for the RUUM program. Often those living in rural or urban areas have little or no access to dentists, physicians and other medical professionals, she said. “We’re trying to improve the access to care and health care outcomes for these individuals,” said Guyer. Beyond the required senior courses, RUUM participants also complete a research project and present it at a symposium at the end of spring semester. Wiltjer’s research topic is health literacy. By surveying residents, she hopes to draw a baseline for how to apply medicine to particular populations within Gainesville. “There is need everywhere, and you don’t have to go far to find it,” Wiltjer said. For more information on RUUM, visit http://ruum.med.ufl.edu . “There is need everywhere, and you don’t have to go far to find it.” RUUM class of 2017, from left to right: Jack Stacey, Rohann Whittingham, Vishal Goswami and Chelsea Wiltjer. (Photo by Cheston LaBarr) Students volunteer with the Mobile Outreach Clinic, developed and directed by Nancy Hardt, M.D., providing health care to people throughout Gainesville. (Photos by Cheston LaBarr) Winter 2012/2013 Cals ConneCtion 3

FSHN Student Takes The Fast Track To Underserved Medicine

Nicolus Hartley

Food science and human nutrition senior Chelsea Wiltjer is one of only four students accepted into the inaugural class of a new early acceptance program for the University of Florida College of Medicine.

The goal of the Rural and Urban Underserved Medicine Track, established and directed by Nancy Hardt, M.D., is to enroll academically excellent juniors who demonstrate a sincere interest in rural or urban medicine in underserved populations.

This eight-year B.S. or B.A./M.D. medicine track will accept as many as six juniors each year based upon academic requirements, volunteer activities and other factors. Admitted students do not have to take the MCAT for medical school entrance and can focus their attention on learning about the needs of underserved populations while gaining hands-on experience.

RUUM students focus especially on those who cannot help themselves. They spend a great deal of time volunteering with the Mobile Outreach Clinic developed and directed by Hardt. The Mobile Outreach Clinic travels to areas throughout Gainesville providing health care to people who do not have health insurance.

Wiltjer said her background in food science and human nutrition has helped her be a more effective Mobile Outreach Clinic volunteer.

“I am able to really talk to the patients in the mobile clinic about their health and proper nutrition,” said Wiltjer.

Many new and emerging populations are at risk for health disparities in health care access and outcomes due to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, culture, geography, social factors and more, said Laura Guyer, Ph.D., administrator for the RUUM program. Often those living in rural or urban areas have little or no access to dentists, physicians and other medical professionals, she said.

“We’re trying to improve the access to care and health care outcomes for these individuals,” said Guyer.

Beyond the required senior courses, RUUM participants also complete a research project and present it at a symposium at the end of spring semester.

Wiltjer’s research topic is health literacy. By surveying residents, she hopes to draw a baseline for how to apply medicine to particular populations within Gainesville.

“There is need everywhere, and you don’t have to go far to find it,” Wiltjer said.

For more information on RUUM, visit http://ruum.med.ufl.edu.

Read the full article at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/FSHN+Student+Takes+The+Fast+Track+To+Underserved+Medicine/1308020/145215/article.html.

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