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PRIME-TIDE Curriculum


PRIME-TIDE is completed over a 5-year period. The program requirements include completion of:

  1. Core MD Curriculum
  2. Selected Didactic Coursework & Experiential Training
  3. Master's Degree (with a relevant emphasis)

Selected Didactic Coursework & Experimental Training

A. Years 1 & 2: Required Courses, Elective Courses, and Summer Experience

The student will complete a minimum of 14 credit hours: 8 required plus 6 electives.

1. Required Courses

Students will complete a minimum of 8 credit hours that are intended to provide a strong introduction to AI/AN health topics and issues. The required courses are:

  1. SOMI 233: Influences on Health: From Genes to Communities (3 credit hours)
  2. SOMI 234: Beyond the Bench and Bedside: Partnering with Communities (3 credit hours)
  3. MED 235: Tribal Ambulatory Healthcare Experience (2 credit hours)

* When additional internal and external grant funding is available, more tailored AI/AN health courses may be substituted for SOMI 233 and SOMI 234.

2. Elective Courses

Students will also complete a minimum of 6 additional credit hours in health-related electives. Students may select from the following options:

  1. ANES 223: Introduction to the Politics of Medicine
  2. SOMI 230: Health Education Outreach/DOC 4 A DAY
  3. SOMI 235: Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies
  4. FPM 246: Occupational/ Environmental Health
  5. FPM 270: Cultural Perceptions about Health and Disease
  6. MED 287/FPM 287: Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases
  7. MED 232: Healers Art of Awakening the Heart of Medicine
  8. FPM 272: Community Advocacy Free Clinic 1

The following general campus courses may also be taken to fulfill this requirement.
Note: Medical students may take these courses only if they are offered at times that do not conflict with their SOM core courses. General campus courses follow different calendars.

  1. ETHN 103: Environmental Racism
  2. ETHN 110: Cultural World Views in Indigenous America
  3. ETHN 112A: History of Native Americans in the United States I
  4. ETHN 112B: History of Native Americans in the United States II
  5. ETHN 112C: California Native American History
  6. ETHN 142: Medicine, Race, and the Global Politics of Inequality
  7. ETHN 262: Race, Inequality, and Health
  8. ETHN 260: Transnationalism and Borderlands: The Local and Global
  9. FMPH 401: Introduction to Epidemiology
  10. FMPH 402: Introduction to Health Behavior
  11. FMPH 403: Public Health Research Methods
  12. FMPH 405: Introduction to Health Policy
  13. FMPH 410: Health Behavior Interventions
  14. FMPH 411: Program Optimization and Evaluation
  15. FMPH 413: Ethics in Public Health Research and Practice
  16. FMPH 412: Health Promotion and Communication
  17. FMPH 426: Mental Health, Health Behavior, and Addiction
  18. FMPH 427: Mental Health across the Lifecourse
  19. FMPH 428: Dissemination and Implementation, Policy, and Health Services in Mental Health
  20. FMPH 413: Ethics in Public Health Research and Practice
  21. FMPH 460: Design and Public Health
  22. FMPH 277: Health Policy, Technology and Public Health

3. Summer Experience: Between Years 1 and 2

Each student will start a scholarly project in the summer between years 1 and 2, and engage with a mentor in preparing a proposal for a scholarly project. The scholarly project may involve biomedical, clinical, or social science research, as well as healthcare education, promotion, or disease prevention in an AI-AN community. The project may address a specific scientific question or involve the creation of a new methodology in medical education or patient care. The project itself, the rationale, and the goal(s) must be clearly defined. The definition of specific goals at the outset will facilitate the development of an appropriate strategy for completing the project. The scholarly project must be approved by PRIME-TIDE director.

Students may have the option of working with a research mentor/affiliate at UC San Diego, San Diego State University (SDSU), California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), or other affiliated institutions. An example of research infrastructure available to the students is the California NARCH program (CA-NARCH), which is a partnership of Tribal/Urban Indian Organizations and academic institutions committed to working together to strengthen tribal sovereignty over the healthcare of the community and to recruit and support students pursuing science and health fields.

B. Year 4: Native Health Clinical Experience

All PRIME-TIDE matriculated students are expected to participate in a clinical rotation (or a combination of clinical and research experience) at an IHS site for academic credit. The experience must be a minimum of 4 weeks but may be longer. The experience must be sponsored by a UCSD Faculty member who can ensure proper oversight of the experience and assign academic credit. There are opportunities for completion of this rotation outside of San Diego.

Integration with SOM Core Curriculum

As feasible, the PRIME-TIDE didactic coursework and experiential activities will be integrated with required School of Medicine core courses. For instance, there may be opportunities to offer the Ambulatory Care Apprenticeship (ACA) within the Clinical Foundations Course (MS1 and MS2 years) and the Primary Care Clerkship (MS3 year) at local IHS sites. Students interested in these experiences may then elect to use these options within their core courses.<

Master's Degree

Matriculated PRIME-TIDE students are required to complete a master's degree in a relevant topical area. Program options include the following:

  1. UC San Diego Master of Public Health
  2. SDSU Master of Public Health
  3. UC San Diego Master's in Clinical Research
  4. UC San Diego Master of Advanced Studies in the Leadership of Healthcare Organizations (discontinued Winter 2024)
  5. UC San Diego Master of Public Policy

Other program options may be completed, if approved by the PRIME-TIDE Director.