Program Curriculum

PRIME-US offers medical students the unique opportunity to pursue their interest in working with urban underserved populations at the individual, group and community level. The program includes:

Summer Introduction

Students arrive early for a stipend-supported immersion experience that includes: visiting community-based organizations; meeting public health and community leaders, clinicians and community members; learning about UCSF and UCB resources and support services; and getting to know each other and the Bay Area.

Seminar Series and Site Visits

Regularly scheduled afternoon seminars during the first two years provide PRIME-US students with a solid foundation in the principles, practices, and populations of urban underserved care. In small group settings, they meet with faculty and community members to discuss their work and careers in health and healthcare equity and underserved care. These interactive teaching sessions are complemented by site visits to community-based organizations and institutions.

Clinical Immersion

Early in their medical education, students are placed in healthcare settings that serve under-resourced communities to learn about direct patient care and quality improvement. These placements enable students to understand the clinic and hospital structures and develop relationships with inter-professional clinical staff, physicians and patients. During their clerkship years, students rotate through a variety of settings, including hospitals that focus on underserved populations in San Francisco, the larger Bay Area and Fresno. PRIME-US provides students with a “home” during their clerkship rotations, offering intermittent PRIME-US Physician Identity Weeks/ARCH week sessions and other evening events to ensure on-going support, inspiration and growth.

Community Engagement Program

Incorporated into the core seminar series and clinical work, students learn a framework to build and sustain community partnerships. Depending on individual interests, students are also connected to service learning activities and community-based projects. Evidence-based community engagement competencies, principles of cultural humility, justice and equity, and the process of critical reflection provide a foundation for all community engagement work.

Capstone Experience

A month-long course in the final year provides PRIME-US students with the opportunity to review the core principles and practices of health equity promotion and underserved care, acquire new leadership and management skills, and work together on community-based projects.

Health Care Leadership and Management

Our curriculum incorporates leadership and management training into our seminars, site visits and Capstone experience.

Master’s Degree

An additional year of study is included in PRIME-US. All JMP students complete a Master of Science during their first three years, while UCSF students pursue a master’s degree or research program of their choice between their third and fourth year of medical school.

Mentorship and Support

Our mentorship program provides students with support and guidance to ensure personal and professional success. Students meet with mentors individually, attend informal group meetings, participate in facilitated discussion sessions, engage in mentored project work, and receive support from their peers.


To increase the impact of PRIME-US , the program sponsors numerous activities related to reducing healthcare disparities and increasing workforce diversity. PRIME-US has built sustained partnerships with local pipeline programs. To ensure the participation of all interested students, PRIME-US hosts and co-sponsors numerous activities at UCSF and the JMP, including noontime seminars, evening talks, weekend events and conferences. PRIME-US students also visit local undergraduate institutions and participate in many pipeline events to encourage young people from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in the health professions.