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The population of Tacoma’s cultural and ethnic backgrounds includes African-American, Hispanic, Samoan/Pacific Islander, Russian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Sudanese and Chinese. Residents learn to consider the social, spiritual, cultural and psychological values of each patient and incorporate consideration of these factors in their medical care. Our residents also learn to become proficient in doing interpreted visits, either with a live interpreter, or interpreters via telephone or webcam.


Third year residents have a month long “away” rotation, when they have the opportunity to arrange an international rotation. The proposed elective international rotation is faculty reviewed to meet standards for safety, supervision and specific goals and objectives. Many of our faculty have experience with international work, including public health work and medical missions. Residents have participated in medical mission work with TFM faculty in Honduras. Graduating residents are competent to provide a full scope of practice for their patients in under-served communities both here and abroad.
Community Involvement
TFM residents, faculty and staff contribute time and energy to a wide variety of community-based projects including:
  • Relay for Life, which raises money for the American Cancer Society
  • Step Out Walk to End Diabetes
  • Neighborhood Clinic, a free medical clinic that serves the most needy in Tacoma
  • Festival of Trees, which raises money for our Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital
  • Performing free sports physicals at First Creek Middle School
  • Health policy advocacy at local, state and national levels
  • Medical mission work in Honduras
  • Sponsoring local families in need for Thanksgiving meals and holiday gifts / clothing / grocery cards
  • Back-2-School Carnival, a large event to promote health in the children of the community and good school participation
  • Tar Wars Program, educating 4th and 5th grade students about the short and long-term effects of smoking
  • Homeless Connect, a day-long program to medical, dental, personal grooming, social services to the local homeless population.