HAIL to Pitt—it’s a common refrain in Pittsburgh, and a value statement for our overall Three Rivers Curriculum.  Over time, students become healers, advocates, innovators, and leaders.  Everyone gets a LOT of “healer” training, and a core minimum of advocacy, innovation, and leadership.  But what if a student wants a more in-depth exploration of those other areas?  That’s where streams come in.

Streams are updated versions of Areas of Concentration (AOCs) in UPSOM’s legacy curriculum—broader, consistent, rigorous, and still flexible for students to engage in parallel to the regular curriculum.  Students in good academic standing begin by March of their first year, choosing one of the three focus areas.

Stream Category 

Examples of Focus 


Global/Population Health 

Primary Care/Underserved/Advocacy 

Health Systems Science 


Discovery (basic or clinical research) 


Medical Humanities 




Each stream will have a core set of activities for students to complete, with “experience credits” for activities outside the core.  For instance, a stream will hold a workshop for everyone, and a student who additionally goes to a grand rounds on a related topic will get credit towards final completion.  Students meet with a faculty mentor twice yearly, in addition to senior students involved in the stream.  After two years of participation, students will complete a capstone project for their stream—in addition to their longitudinal research project, but much more focused.

Students who successfully complete the requirements will receive a mark of distinction on their Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), which will be particularly impressive to residencies.

Streams allow students to fulfil personal interests and career development, promoting intellectual curiosity, collaboration, and lifelong learning.

Information on stream enrollment will be forthcoming—stay tuned!