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M.D. Program

M.D. Program

Prospective students


Rural-PRIME seeks applicants with significant experience in rural settings and the desire to return to a rural community.  Applicants interested in Primary Care, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, OB/GYN and General Surgery are encouraged to apply. Up to 12 applicants are accepted to join Rural-PRIME each academic year.


All applicants must meet UC Davis School of Medicine M.D. program admissions requirements.  Please check the UC Davis Admissions web-site for specific information: 

Benefits & Curriculum:

Curriculum Overview 

Rural-PRIME is designed to enhance the UC Davis medical school experience by adding educational opportunities that provide students with specific knowledge and skills that they will need for rural practice.  It has created a new model for teaching that utilizes advanced technologies to provide the rural physician with up-to-date medical knowledge and to increase specialty access for rural patients.

During Year 3, students will spend approximately 4-5 months immersed in rural communities:

  • Primary Care: Students will spend all 8 weeks of their Primary Care clerkship at a rural clerkship site
  • Pediatrics: Students will spend 4 weeks of their Pediatric clerkship at a rural clerkship site.
  • Ob/Gyn: Students will spend 4 weeks of their Ob/Gyn clerkship at a rural clerkship site.
  • Psychiatry: Students will spend 4 weeks of their Psychiatry clerkship at a rural clerkship site.

The Rural-PRIME Clerkship sites undergo an intensive application process before becoming an official site.  Housing is available to our students while they are at the rural clerkship sites.  In addition, students participate in their class room didactics by video-conferencing.  If they desire, the student may spend the entire four to eight weeks at the rural clerkship site without coming back to Sacramento.

Throughout all five years of the program, students will be given:

  • Rural health experience and mentorship: A comprehensive resource list is available for Rural-PRIME students who are interested in contacting a specialized resource.  Physicians who are on the resource list are based at several sites in northern and central California and are involved in teaching, clinical care and/or research related to rural health.

    In addition, weekly group advising sessions are offered to discuss the general interests of the students: wilderness medicine, international medicine, primary care and public health.  Topics change on a quarterly basis and speakers are scheduled with student input.

    Students are also paired with a "big sib" within Rural-PRIME.  The "big sib" encourages and assists the student with the transition into medical school and PRIME.  All Rural-PRIME students are assigned to an advisory college within the School of Medicine and to a faculty mentor who will provide academic, personal and career guidance to the student throughout their medical school career.

  • Consistent teaching by rural physicians:  All UC Davis medical students participate in clinical preceptorships during their first two years of school.  Rural-PRIME students are paired with physician preceptors who practice in the rural communities surrounding Sacramento.  The physican preceptor assists the student in learning physical examination and history taking skills, provides exposure to rural practice and demonstrates leadership and teamwork within their professional setting.

    In addition, rural physicians are recruited for the longitudinal Doctoring program.  In small group sessions, students work with their Doctoring facilitators to learn physical examination and interview skills.




  • Seminar forums to discuss rural health specific topics:  Weekly seminars offer a forum to discuss a variety of specific health-care related topics: health care for rural and underserved populations, use of distance learning and technology in increasing access to care, the role of the family and other interpersonal relations in making health care decisions and the clinician's perspective on treating people of different cultural backgrounds.

    Rural physicians are often 'beamed' in via video conferencing technologies, and they discuss the unique characteristics of their practice.

  • Training in advanced telecommunication: A "skill and procedural training" seminar series is offered during the academic year.  PRIME students practice specialty health-care skills and procedures that are used for both common and specific procedures unique to rural health.  These sessions primarily take place in the Center for Virtual Care and offer students an opportunity to become familiar with the task trainers that will be available to them at their rural clerkship sites.  These interactive sessions also familiarize students with the telecommunication technologies that they will rely on during their clerkship years and in their rural practice.

  • Preparation/training for master's degree program:  All Rural-PRIME students will complete a master's degree program after their third year of medical school.  The student will choose the program based on their interests (e.g. Public Health, Health Informatics, policy) with the guidance of the program director and his or her advisor.