Rural-PRIME: Training California's future physicians to meet the needs of rural communities

Rural-PRIME medical studentWith a founding mission that emphasizes community service, UC Davis School of Medicine launched a program designed to increase health-care access for underserved populations living in rural areas.

Called "Rural-PRIME," this unique program is designed to train the best and the brightest students for a fulfilling career in rural primary care medicine. It is an opportunity that offers a range of experiences, from public health and community service to the use of leading-edge medical technologies like telemedicine.

Rural-PRIME is a combined, five-year M.D. and master's degree program. It focuses on developing physicians who can become leaders and advocates for improving healthcare delivery throughout the state's smaller, more isolated communities. Rural-PRIME offers an innovative curriculum, beginning with the first year of medical school. It is specifically geared toward students from rural backgrounds who have a strong desire to make a difference in communities like the ones in which they were raised.

For more information about supporting the program, please contact Cori Traub at (916) 734-1820 or

With your scholarship support, we can recruit the most talented students to our Rural-PRIME, and enable them to make the choice to practice in rural places they once called home.

Significant features

  • Mentoring by rural physicians for a deeper understanding about the small community practice and public health leadership
  • Clinical technique (Doctoring) courses taught by rural physician faculty, with an emphasis on cultural sensitivity and rural case studies
  • Integrated master's degrees in Public Health, Medical Informatics or other health-care related fields
  • Core clinical clerkships focusing on culture, health-care issues, epidemiology and economics in rural California
  • Extensive experience and opportunities to use the latest health-care technology and telecommunications

UC Davis Medicine

UC Davis Medicine - cover for Summer 2009 issue. ©2009 UC Regents The summer 2009 issue of UC Davis Medicine explores the many ways that the innovative and compassionate experts at UC Davis are helping children grow up healthy and prepared to take on the challenges of tomorrow.

Click here to read more.

How you can help

A large part of the shortage in primary care physicians has been attributed to the pull of higher incomes for specialty practice. Primary care practice in rural areas is much more challenging for a UC Davis medical student weighing career options against an average debt load of over $100,000. Therefore, to attract the best students into Rural-PRIME, financial obstacles to entering medical school and choosing rural practice be reduced. Many students simply would not consider Rural-PRIME without substantial scholarship funding.

Precepting, mentoring and other opportunities are available for alumni interested in participating in Rural-PRIME.