Program in Medical Education - Health Equity (PRIME-HEq)

California is facing a growing shortage of health providers. The state already has large regions that are Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) and other regions with distinct Medically Underserved Populations (MUPs). The Program in Medical Education for the Health Equity (PRIME-HEq) is a five-year MD/Master’s program that is committed to training physicians to meet the needs of under-resourced communities. Each year, PRIME-HEq admits about 12 students who go on to practice in a wide array of medical specialties, withing the communities where health disparities exist.

The UC San Diego School of Medicine (SOM) Program in Medical Education – Health Equity (PRIME-HEq) is part of a system-wide effort at the University of California to train physicians better able to meet the needs of the diverse Californian population who are traditionally underserved by the medical system.

PRIME-HEq is an inclusive program designed to build on students’ interests and backgrounds in community service. PRIME-HEq faculty work with students to identify populations or communities at risk for health disparities. Students will then receive exposure, training, and the opportunity to work with the identified group to further their passion in the area and provide knowledge and skills to better equip the students to improve health equity for the group.

PRIME-HEq offers an enhanced medical school curriculum that includes coursework emphasizing leadership, advocacy, and service. Reducing equity gaps in medical is the primary aim of the curriculum. Each program has a dedicated area of focus, targeted student recruitment, supplemental criteria for admission, relevant curricular content, and dedicated faculty mentorship.

PRIME graduates go on to work in underserved communities and with underserved populations. It is important to underscore the significant role PRIME plays as a social mobility ladder, encouraging students from these same underserved communities to pursue a medical degree and more than 64% of PRIME students are from groups under-represented in medicine.

UC PRIME Programs

Please join us in our mission

Developing leaders to eliminate health disparities in their communities, our nation, and the world.

Contact Us

Maria Rosario (Happy) Araneta, Ph.D., MPH
Associate Dean, Diversity & Community Partnerships
Professor, Family Medicine and Public Health

Judith McGilvray
Student Affairs Diversity Officer
Assistant to Dr. Araneta

Isabelle Azzoo
Program Coordinator

Luis Castellanos, MD, MPH
Director, PRIME-Health Equity
Associate Professor of Medicine

Jacob Bailey, MD, MA
Assistant Director, PRIME-Health Equity

Matthew Allison, MD, MPH
Director, PRIME-TIDE

Valita Jones, EdD
Administrative Director, Pathways Research Analyst 

Rosie Jimenez-Negrete
Coordinator, PRIME-Health Eqiuty & PRIME-TIDE

Ramon Hernandez, DrPH, MPH
Project Director, Hispanic Center of Excellence