Meeting the Needs of Underserved Communities: The Potential of the University of California Programs in Medical Education

Dec 07, 2022 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. PT

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Presentation Slides Presenter Bios

California is battling a physician shortage. Five of the state’s nine regions lack the recommended number of primary care physicians, and two regions lack the recommended number of specialists. In addition, the racial and ethnic composition of California’s physician workforce does not reflect the population it serves. To help address this challenge, the University of California Programs in Medical Education (UC PRIME) has recruited and trained UC medical students to help meet the needs of medically underserved communities. In 2019, the California Future Health Workforce Commission recommended expanding UC PRIME, but funding sources for UC PRIME remain tenuous, and opportunities for growth and expansion remain unexplored.

The California Health Care Foundation sponsored a webinar to inform California decisionmakers about UC PRIME and share a new report from Mathematica summarizing research about the effect this program has on the state’s physician workforce. The webinar also included a panel discussion with people who have participated in, directed, or studied UC PRIME programs.

Speakers included the following:

  • Sandra Hernández, president and chief executive officer, California Health Care Foundation
  • Mallory Johnson, research analyst, Mathematica
  • Michelle Ko, associate professor of public health, University of California Davis
  • Melody Le Tran-Reina, executive director, Community Health Scholars Programs, UC Davis School of Medicine
  • Diane Rittenhouse, senior fellow, Mathematica
  • Sidra Suess, UC PRIME graduate and internal medicine physician, Kaiser Permanente

Learn more about Mathematica’s study of UC PRIME in this report.

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Diane Rittenhouse

Diane Rittenhouse

Senior Fellow

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