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M.D. Program

M.D. Program

Current Rural-PRIME students

Meet our students!


 Emilie Halbach Emilie Halbach, Class of 2017
Santa Barbara, CA
Rural-PRIME offers the extended training that a rural physician is likely to employ in the absence of urban resources. This training will give us the confidence to go forth as rural physicians, and to tackle whatever weird scenario unfolds. I am excited to receive all the training I can, and to be prepared for anything! I hope to be of a positive influence to my patients, as well as the community in which we live—if this is achieved via a general practice, or emergency care, or obstetrics, or surgery, I hope my practice can alleviate stress and worry from their lives, and enhance their quality of living.
Angel Moran Angel Moran, Class of 2017
Hometown: Watsonville, CA
I grew up in a rural community and experienced the difficulties that prevent rural residents, mostly migrant farmers, from accessing and fully utilizing the available healthcare services. As a physician, I plan to return to my community, serving rural agricultural towns that are in need of a culturally competent physician who will understand and address the healthcare concerns of patients. Importantly, I plan to address the geographic health disparities that prevent people of rural communities from accessing specialized healthcare. I will accomplish this goal by providing my patients with the telecommunications technology needed to contact specialized physicians who are located in distant cities. Rural-PRIME will provide me with tools that enable me to take a leadership role in my community where I intend to not only treat, but also educate patients on healthcare issues that are common and unique to these communities.
Leona Shum Leona Shum, Class of 2017
San Francisco, CA
After moving from an urban center to a small rural town to teach for two years, I had a chance to experience the dramatic contrast of lifestyle between urban and rural communities. I hope to continue to learn about the intricacies of the rural communities and also serve as a bridge between rural and urban communities. I want to open a clinic in a rural community to provide accessible and high quality medicine to the local population. But beyond providing direct care, I hope to work with community members to build infrastructure and legislation that will prevent illness and promote healthy living for the community and its future members.
Chelsea Gong Chelsea Gong, Class of 2018
Hometown: Visalia, CA 
I have grown up among several rural communities and I have gotten to know the people who work in these towns and cities to provide for themselves and their families. As a primary care physician, I want to have relationships with my patients that go beyond coming in to the office once a year for a check up. By practicing in a rural area, I believe that I will be able to serve the hard-working people who live there as well as be able to build strong relationships with my patients in order to serve them in the best way possible. In the future I hope to practice family medicine in a rural area of California, possibly specializing in geriatrics.
Daniel Hernandez

Daniel Hernandez, Class of 2018
Hometown: San Diego, CA 
Working with underserved and rural communities greatly motivated me to pursue a career in medicine. I believe Rural-PRIME will enrich my medical education by providing me with the appropriate tools to serve rural communities and to help decrease health disparities in these areas. In addition, I am excited to incorporate innovative technologies such as telemedicine into my practice in primary care, and to learn in a small group setting. In the future, I hope to provide primary care (family medicine or pediatrics) to underserved and rural populations.

Emanuel Jaramillo Emanuel Jaramillo, Class of 2018
Live Oak, CA 
Growing up in a small farming town and having to travel long distances to receive high quality healthcare has impacted my motivation to pursue a career in rural medicine. Communities located in rural areas tend to have limited access to healthcare, causing many families to slip through the cracks. As I saw during my clinical experiences abroad, many individuals ended up with medical conditions that, if caught early, could have been prevented. Through telemedicine training and close interaction with rural mentors, I feel that Rural-PRIME will be able to provide me with the skills needed to become an influential physician leader who will help address these health disparities. I believe my passion to provide compassionate and high quality healthcare to some of our most vulnerable populations aligns perfectly with the mission of Rural-PRIME. I look forward to the opportunity to rotate through different rural medical sites during Year 3.
Melanie Koppula Melanie Koppula, Class of 2018
Turlock, CA
While working in a rural hospital near my hometown, I recognized the need and limited access of high quality health care in underserved areas. Through this experience, I felt inspired to pursue a medical career that emphasizes care for underserved populations. I was drawn to Rural-PRIME because the opportunity to receive unique clinical experiences, training in telemedicine and the option to pursue an MPH degree would offer me the skills and education to properly address the pertinent issues of the localities I hope to practice. In my future clinical practice, I plan to address and advocate for the needs of underserved and vulnerable communities through public health education and tailored patient care. I feel confident that Rural-PRIME will equip me with the necessary knowledge to create a positive change in the communities I serve.
Fiona Scott Fiona Scott, Class of 2018
Davis, CA
As a future physician leader, I hope to practice medicine in a rural primary care clinic in Northern or Central California. Through my graduate research on farmworker health and my time as co-director of a clinic, which serves a large farmworker population, I have developed a comprehensive understanding of the challenges accompanying life in a rural area. In addition to providing health services in the clinical setting, I hope to use my public health knowledge and experience working at the Knights Landing Clinic to establish health education classes, after school tutoring, mentorship for teens and other public health efforts to further empower the community.