First group of community college students accepted into UC Riverside California Medicine Scholars Program

UC Riverside School of Medicine welcomes its first class of California Medical Scholars. This is her 37 community college students in upstate Southern California who receive individualized academic support on their way to medical school.

The first class is part of the California Medical Scholarship Program (CMSP), a new state-funded initiative to diversify the primary care physician workforce and address a pressing shortage in the medical workforce. CMSP is a key part of the state’s strategy to close a shortage of more than 4,000 primary care physicians by 2030 and address widening disparities in access to care in rural areas and underserved communities. part.

The School of Medicine’s Pathways program has enhanced community college outreach over the years, including piloting community college instruction with medical students in 2021-2022.

A community college student visits a medical school lab.

Community college students visit a lab at the UCR School of Medicine. (UCR/Faculty of Medicine)

“CMSP is thrilled that community college students will be part of a four-year pathway program from community college to medical school, complete with mentorship, internships and professional development.” The thing is that students are part of a local and statewide resource network.This program aligns with our mission to develop unique physicians, especially to fill the local primary care physician shortage. I do.”

Scholars are offered a variety of mentoring, internships and volunteer medical experiences through the Regional Health Opportunity Hub (RHHO) based at UCR College of Medicine. You will also receive support, including mentoring and networking opportunities with medical professionals and medical students.

“Education and health professionals, community representatives, and stakeholders and advocates for workforce development, health workers, and educational equity worked hard last year to recruit the first cohort of students. “Starting this spring, the program will offer these new academics an opportunity that they may not have had to take on the path to medical school, and ultimately to work as a physician in California. will start.”

Today, nearly 45% of Californians have inadequate access to primary care physicians, and only 17% of medical students come from underrepresented groups. A survey released in February by the California Health Care Foundation and the University of Chicago’s NORC found that 85% of Californians believe there should be “sufficient numbers of doctors, nurses and other health care providers throughout California.” said to be a key priority. state government to deal with. Additionally, 42% of his black and Latinx residents in California say their communities lack sufficient primary care his providers. This is similar to 53% of San Joaquin Valley residents and 48% of those living in the Inland Empire.

Increasing the number of doctors with underrepresented backgrounds in the medical community, who are likely to practice in rural and low-income areas where the shortage is most acute, is one way to fill the gap. With nearly 2 million students, 69% of whom are of diverse ethnic backgrounds, California Community Colleges are uniquely positioned to improve the diversity of their healthcare workforce.

CMSP’s four RHHOs, which include community colleges, universities, medical colleges, community health clinics, and community-based organizations, work together to provide more pre-medical opportunities for students. The Inland Empire RHHO is led by his UCR medical school, while the other three RHHOs are led by:

  • Greater Northern California: UC Davis School of Medicine
  • San Diego: UC San Diego Medical College
  • San Joaquin Valley: UCSF School of Medicine – Fresno

In total, CMSP welcomed 138 California Community College students this month.

The 2021-22 state budget provided $10.5 million for the program’s first three years and was administered by the California Department of Health Care Access and Information. The Foundation for California Community Colleges serves as its central secretariat. The California Endowment, California Wellness Foundation, and California Health Care Foundation are also funders.

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