About the Distinction Track Program


The Distinction Track Program at the University of Louisville School of Medicine was created to meet two primary goals: to increase the number of students choosing a career in academic medicine and to provide students with the opportunity for academic exploration and scholarly productivity in an area of medicine for which they have a passion. The University of Louisville currently has five Distinction Tracks: Business and Leadership, Global & Public Health, Health Equity & Medical Justice, Medical Education, and Research. Each track is unique in its requirements, ensures a mentored longitudinal experience, and culminates in a scholarly project.


The Distinction Track Program is housed in the Undergraduate Medical Education Office and is overseen by an Advisory Steering Committee, chaired by the Vice Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, M. Ann Shaw, MD, MA. The committee includes representatives from the University of Louisville faculty and staff, Distinction Track Directors, and student representatives. The role of the Advisory Committee is to provide support for the distinction tracks by sharing student recruitment and assessment strategies and identifying resources to support learning. It also provides a forum to share ideas.


Participation in a distinction track enriches medical school training without prolonging it. Students must be in good academic standing to be considered for track selection and can only enroll in one distinction track. Presently about 20% of our medical students are participating in a distinction track. Successful completion of distinction track requirements is noted on the student’s official transcript and in the Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE) letter for residency application. Students are acknowledged at the Senior Honors Banquet and receive a certificate at graduation.