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M.D. Program

M.D. Program

San Joaquin Valley - PRIME

Frequently asked questions (F.A.Q.s)

How long has the SJV PRIME been in existence for?
The first students were inaugurated into the SJV PRIME in August of 2011.

What is SJV PRIME?
San Joaquin Valley is a program in medical education at UC Davis School of Medicine that focuses on the unique population that resides in the San Joaquin Valley. It seeks to create leaders that will be able to service the unique needs of the valley. The program is a collaboration between UC Davis, UC Merced and UCSF Fresno.

What is the role of UC Merced in SJV PRIME?
UC Merced provides partial funding for the program. Faculty members serve in the program's selection process and advisory board. UC Merced plans to develop the option of a Master's program for interested SJV PRIME students in the near future.

Is the application process for applying to SJV PRIME and UC Davis School of Medicine separate?
No. It is a joint process, when you apply for UC Davis School of Medicine, you can choose to be considered for SJV PRIME by indicating your interest in the Secondary Application.

What does SJV PRIME look for in a candidate?
Applicants should possess significant knowledge of and experience in the San Joaquin Valley, including a familiarity with underserved populations, public health issues pertinent to the region, and a desire to practice in the San Joaquin Valley. This track is for students who are committed to ensuring high quality medical care to improve health for populations, communities, and individuals in the San Joaquin Valley.  Applicants should possess strong ties to San Joaquin Valley and plan to serve there as physicians.

Will applying to SJV PRIME affect my UC Davis School of Medicine application? Will it increase my chances of being accepted to UC Davis School of Medicine?
Candidates will be considered for SJV PRIME when they have reached the interview stage. There is no advantage in consideration in respect to matriculation if you apply to SJV PRIME.

I have already interviewed with UC Davis School of Medicine, will I need to return for another interview with SJV PRIME?
No. All SJV PRIME interviews are conducted by video-conferencing using Skype. Applicants connect by Skype with UC Davis, UCSF Fresno and UC Merced simultaneously.

Where do I spend my first two years of Medical School? 
Students in SJV PRIME spend their first two years of medical school at the UC Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento, CA.

Where do I spend my last two years of Medical School?
For year 3, students do their clinical rotations at UCSF Fresno. Students have the option to return to UC Davis School of Medicine main campus to complete their 4th year electives or to stay and complete at UCSF Fresno. Students graduate with a Medical Doctorate degree from UC Davis School of Medicine.

What housing accommodations exist for years 3 and 4 in the Valley?
The SJV PRIME program secures housing for students during year 3 in Fresno. Students are responsible for securing housing for year 4.

Will I take the same classes as the non-PRIME students?
Yes, SJV PRIME students take all the same classes with their non-PRIME peers in the first two years. Some parts of the curriculum will be unique, though:

  • UC Davis Summer Pre-Matriculation Program
  • Community-Based Service-Learning
  • Group academic-excellence sessions by the Office of Student Learning and Educational Resources with TEACH-MS Students
  • Facilitated dialog on diversity, quality and population health
  • Early longitudinal clinical experiences at Kaiser Permanente clinics in Sacramento and Modesto
  • All clinical clerkships at UCSF Fresno during school year 3 and during year 4 electives optional at UCSF Fresno or Sacramento
  • Optional year of study to pursue a master's degree
  • A formal mentorship program

Will I be required to complete a master’s degree?
Students will not be required to complete a master’s degree. However, students do have the option to enhance their leadership skills and education by completing a master’s degree after their third year of medical school. Students will work individually with their advisor to decide if a master’s degree is the right choice for them. 

How do I apply to U.C. Merced San Joaquin Valley-PRIME?
All applicants must apply to the UC Davis School of Medicine through AMCAS by October 1.  Applicants invited to complete a secondary application have the opportunity to indicate interest in the SJV PRIME. Intersted applicants who interview for the UC Davis School of Medicine will be screened for a potential interview with SJV PRIME.  Applicants who indicated interest in SJV PRIME and are accepted to the UC Davis School of Medicine are considered for the SJV PRIME track.