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"Their [the BTG students'] involvement helps us with our summer programming and we not only appreciate and benefit from this, but we have come to depend on it."
BTG Community Preceptor
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BTG Model

The Bridging the Gaps model is designed to broaden student training in the health professions through service to underserved communities. The program requires academic health institutions to accomplish the following:

  1. Identify an underserved community with whom they hope to collaborate and build service-linked partnerships

  2. Provide continuity of contact between the students and faculty at the academic health institution and the identified community and its organizations and agencies

  3. Develop and integrate didactic and skill-building components for students, based on the belief that there is a set of skills necessary to provide health care to underserved populations

  4. Ensure that supervision is provided by both academic and community preceptors

  5. Regularly evaluate the program by eliciting and incorporating input from participating community and agency personnel, students, faculty, and the people served by the program

  6. Inform the community of the progress of the program through a public forum and an annual report

In summary, the Bridging the Gaps program commits an academic health institution to sustain a relationship with an underserved community by providing meaningful service while training community-responsive health and social service professionals.

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"BTG allowed me to experience health care from a different perspective, that of the patient. I witnessed the frustration of managing chronic illness on a daily basis, appreciated the courage needed to make meaningful changes for one's health, and the difficulty in making these choices without adequate support or resources "
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