Our Mission

The mission of PRIME-US is to nurture, support and equip medical students to carry out their goal of effectively promoting health equity and providing healthcare to urban underserved communities.

The goals of PRIME-US are to:

  • Attract medical students from diverse backgrounds who have a strong interest in caring for urban underserved communities in the United States.
  • Provide a medical education experience for these students to equip and support them to become leaders in promoting health equity and caring for urban underserved communities.
  • Enable these students to serve as a catalyst for others at UCSF and the JMP to appreciate the rewards and challenges of caring for urban underserved communities.
  • Increase the number of UCSF medical school graduates who choose to pursue careers devoted to improving the health and health care of urban underserved communities through leadership roles as community-engaged clinicians, educators, researchers, and social policy advocates..

PRIME-US is committed to nurturing and promoting diversity as defined by the University of California: Diversitya defining feature of California’s past, present, and future – refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region, and more.

Program History

Voter Funded

In November of 2006, California voters approved Prop. 1D: The Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2006. The medical-education portion of the funding was intended to expand the University's medical schools to increase the diversity of the healthcare workforce, eliminate health disparities in California, and enhance telemedicine programs throughout the state.

Targeting Underserved Populations

The UC PRIME initiative seeks to address the needs of many of California's most disadvantaged groups and communities. Each program is structured as five-year MD with Master's programs that will prepare students as clinicians, leaders, and advocates for their communities. While PRIME-US focuses on the urban underserved, other campuses train physicians for working with other underserved communities, including rural populations and Latino communities.


The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine and the Joint Medical Program (JMP) at the University of California Berkeley successfully piloted the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US) in 2006.

In 2007, PRIME-US expanded the class size of UCSF and the JMP for the first time in decades, welcoming twelve new students to the program (in addition to the ten pilot students). Currently, PRIME-US accepts eleven students at UCSF and 4 students at the JMP each year.


In addition to state support, PRIME-US has also received funding from The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the WellPoint Foundation, the Metta Fund, Hearst Foundation, Koret Foundation, and individual donors and alumni.

Articles about PRIME-US:

PRIME History Article 

A Description of PRIME-US