San Joaquin Valley PRIME (SJV PRIME)

San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME) is a tailored track at UCSF School of Medicine for medical students who are committed to ensuring high quality, diverse and well distributed medical care to improve health for populations, communities and individuals in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

SJV PRIME offers interested medical students the unique opportunity to work in the San Joaquin Valley with highly underserved populations at the individual and community levels. It incorporates the unique expertise of UCSF, UC Merced, and UCSF faculty at UCSF Fresno, as researchers, educators and leaders in the field of health care in the Valley.

Students accepted into the SJV PRIME will spend their first 18 months at the main campus in San Francisco. They will then spend the next two and a half years at the UCSF Fresno campus.

Targeted activities include:

  • Introduction to the San Joaquin Valley Course – mini course in the Valley prior to starting in San Francisco that introduces students to the region, and the UC Merced and UCSF Fresno campuses and faculty.
  • During the first 18 months, embedded in the UCSF MD program, SJV PRIME students will have regularly scheduled seminars to explore the health and health care of underserved populations in general and the San Joaquin Valley. Experts on social determinants of health and issues related to the San Joaquin Valley will speak and share their work with SJV PRIME students. The SJV PRIME students will also connect with each other and SJV faculty mentors with opportunities for clinical experiences with underserved populations.
  • During the next year, clinical rotations will be completed at the UCSF Fresno campus in an underserved community and will consist of a longitudinal, outpatient-based clinical experience with traditional-style block rotations in one or two clerkships. A foundational science course will be taught in conjunction with UCSF main campus and UC Merced faculty. A longitudinal professional development course (doctoring) runs concurrently with the curriculum and focuses on health in the Valley as well as clinical reasoning, evidence-based medicine, and health disparities.
  • The final 18 months will include advanced clinical rotations at the UCSF Fresno campus with opportunities to explore clinical electives in San Francisco.  A Deep Explore in-depth scholarship project will be tailored to align with community-based health care needs in the San Joaquin Valley. A formal mentorship program and academic guidance provided by dedicated staff and faculty to ensure personal, professional, and academic success.

Students interested in gaining knowledge and expertise in caring for populations in the San Joaquin Valley are encouraged to apply for SJV PRIME regardless of their eventual specialty choice. Applicants to the SJV PRIME program must meet all of the requirements of the UCSF School of Medicine and should apply through the regular UCSF admissions process. If you are invited to complete the UCSF Secondary Application and would like to apply for SJV PRIME, select MD/SJV PRIME on the application--doing so will allow both MD and SJV PRIME admissions to consider your application. 

Program Leadership and Contact Information:

Kenny Banh, MD
Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education

Kasan Jones, MBA
Health Professions Education Program Manager
Undergraduate Medical Education

Loren I. Alving, MD
SJV PRIME Director

Grace Carlson, BA
SJV PRIME Coordinator

Linda Alvarez
SJV PRIME Coordinator