University of California Programs in Medical Education
University of California Programs in Medical Education (UC PRIME) is a specialty track program within each of the six UC medical schools that works to recruit and train physicians to meet the needs of California’s underserved populations by offering focused recruitment pathways into medical school, specialized coursework, structured clinical experiences, and leadership development and mentoring. The California Future Health Workforce Commission recommends the expansion of UC PRIME programs, but little is known about its effectiveness.
For this brief, we reviewed academic and gray literature as well as document repositories compiled by contacts at the California Health Care Foundation and the University of California Office of the President to understand UC PRIME’s effect on California’s physician workforce, including adequate supply, physician diversity, and geographic maldistribution. We supplemented our environmental scan with a small number of key informant interviews. The results of our environmental scan demonstrate notable social and economic benefits of UC PRIME including contributions to the diversification of medical student classes and growth of the physician workforce, especially in primary care. This review also highlighted that more attention to research and evaluation is necessary to understand the broad impacts of PRIME on the desired workforce outcomes.