All PCS students are offered a 4-year enriched curriculum in primary care as well as mentorship and leadership training in primary care. Focus areas within the Primary Care Scholars Certificate of Distinction offer select students an opportunity to develop additional skills within an area of interest, namely Refugee and Migrant Health, Sports Medicine as well as Advanced Leadership and Advocacy in primary care. 

Refugee and Migrant Health

Global conflicts and natural disasters have contributed to the growth of refugee populations around the world and in our local community. Arizona has seen a growing number of refugees and asylum seekers in recent years.

Refugee and Migrant photo
Photo Courtesy of Wesley Refugee Care Clinics

Refugees are at higher risk for a number of medical and mental health conditions and face many barriers to health care. PCS students interested in our refugee and migrant health program will complete their longitudinal clinical experience (PC3) at our Wesley Refugee Clinic and work alongside an interprofessional team of primary care faculty preceptors, staff, refugee patient navigators, case managers, and volunteers, supporting the unique health needs of our local refugee population. They will be offered the opportunity to collaborate with our four local refugee resettlement agencies and numerous community partners to improve the health of the refugee population in Phoenix.

These students will have the opportunity to participate in refugee patient care and learn from experienced faculty and interprofessional teams about appropriate medical care for issues unique to international and refugee populations, including many social and behavioral health challenges. 

Additional COD Requirements:

  • Complete the Wesley Refugee Orientation at the beginning of PC3.
  • Complete the Introduction to Refugee and Migrant Health Course offered by University of Minnesota by April 1st of year 4 (7-hour free online course).
  • Actively participate in the care of at least 5 refugee patients longitudinally at our Wesley Refugee Clinic as part of our PC3 refugee team.
  • Complete a refugee health quality improvement, health promotion or scholarly project.

Sports Medicine

The primary care sports medicine focus area will provide students with a basic introduction to the diagnosis and management of sports medicine injuries and conditions in a primary care, nonsurgical clinical setting, and an opportunity to participate in the medical coverage of various athletic events and assistance with pre-participation physical exams.

Throughout our 4-year program, these students will work alongside primary care sports medicine faculty gaining broad exposure to sports medicine including injury prevention strategies, injury evaluation and diagnosis, restoration of function through rehabilitation and other nonsurgical means, and the role of a team physician. Game coverage, event coverage, and sports physicals are the classic triad of sports medicine experiences and emphasized in our program. Students enrolled in our primary care sports medicine area of focus should demonstrate experience and involvement in all these 3 areas.


  • Completion of PC3 longitudinal clinical experience with one of our sports medicine faculty preceptor.
  • Participation in a sports medicine quality improvement, scholarly work, or project approved by the COD sports medicine faculty mentor or a 4th year elective in sports medicine.
  • Participation in at least 3 sports medicine events or game coverage from the list of opportunities below, and 1 preparticipation exam event (sports physical): 
    • High school football game coverage – via the Banner Family Medicine residency, Banner Sports Medicine fellowship, and other community physicians.
    • Event coverage – Ironman Triathlon, Pat’s Run, PF Chang’s marathon – through the Banner Sports Medicine fellowship.
    • Multiple educational sessions throughout the year via the Sports Medicine Interest group – Held on weeknights at the medical school – Topics include ‘Friday Night Lights’ orientation to football game coverage, Mass Participation event coverage, PPE training, POCUS and Sports Medicine.

Advanced Leadership and Advocacy

PCS students are expected to assume a leadership role in their future endeavors, whether as a community practitioner or in the realm of research and academic medicine.  Leadership preparation starts early in the program when students help plan and coordinate the annual Primary Care Week activities and lead the Annual Primary Care Advocacy Town Hall.  All PCS students are required to complete a total of 10 hours of primary care and public health advocacy.  

Students who are interested in additional leadership skills development will be offered training and the opportunity to lead a chapter of Primary Care Progress, a nationally recognized network that is committed to strengthening the community of people at the heart of primary care through leadership development, advocacy, and community at medical schools nationwide.  Fourth year students will further develop these skills by taking a primary care leadership and advocacy elective.


  • Participate in the Primary Care Progress (PCP) Summit and Relational Leadership Training.
  • Serve as a PCP Team Leader 
  • Participate in PCP Team Coaching Meetings
  • Assume a student leadership role such as an Interest Group Leader, serve on a primary care specialty association or organization Board of Directors, University committee or other leadership roles approved by the COD director.
  • Complete a 4th year leadership and advocacy elective.