24th National Conference Theme Presentation: An Update on the ATSU-SOMA Distributed Teaching Health Center

Last Updated on April 16, 2022 by Lee Burnett, DO, FAAFP

Frederic Schwartz DO School of Osteopathic Medicine of Arizona


Dr Frederic Schwartz, Associate Dean for Clinical Education and Services of the A. T. Still University-School of Osteopathic Medicine of Arizona,  will present new information on the medical school’s nationally recognized initiative, which centers the last three years of its four year medical school in federally qualified community health centers.

Building on the successful implementation of its predoctoral model, the ATSU-SOMA Distributed Network in Fall 2012, in collaboration with the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education developed a novel teaching health center-based family medicine residency program.

The program was awarded a national federal Teaching Health Center  grant for funding 29 graduate medical education slots per year for a total of 87 new osteopathic family medicine positions.

Dr Schwartz, who was the 2012 J. Jerry Rodos National Conference Scholar, will present a progress report on these initiatives.

(See also Community-Based Medical Education: An Interview with the Faculty of the ATSU School of Osteopathic Medicine – Arizona.)

The Coastal Research Group, that sponsors the National Conferences on Primary Health Care Access and the National Consortium for Community-Based Medical Education, has been advocate for the training of primary care physicians in federally-funded community health centers since the organization’s founding in 1983.

The sponsor of two National Conferences wholly dedicated to the subject [see Proceedings of the First National Conference on Community Health Center – Primary Care Residency Program Linkages, “Community-Oriented Primary Care and the Role of Community Health Centers” (Part 1, Babitz)], the National Conference faculty include some of the earliest advocates for the concept.

With the Teaching Health Center concept incorporated into the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act [PPACA], several of the training initiatives that the National Conferences have highlighted are receiving federal recognition.

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