Open Position


Beginning in Fall 2021, the School of Medicine will offer the Academic Concentration in American Indian and Alaskan Native Health (AIHAC), as an option to incoming students to provide the knowledge and tools necessary to provide appropriate care to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities.  Medical students enrolled in the AIHAC will be exposed to health concerns common to rural and urban AI/AN communities, as well as the complexities and challenges that exist within the Indian Health Services (IHS).  Students will have the opportunity to conduct research and/or interventions in partnership with the UCSD-SDSU Native American Research Center for Health, as well as have meaningful clinical experiences at IHS sites across San Diego County. 

The Faculty Director will provide key leadership and vision for the AIHAC, working closely with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, and Assistant Dean of Diversity & Community Partnerships to implement the goals, objectives, and methods for the AIHAC. The appointment provides salary support of $15,000 (plus benefits). Applicants must be a Health Science faculty member who holds one or more doctoral degrees, have an understanding of the goals of the medical curriculum, experience in teaching, mentoring, curriculum development, community partnerships, and in securing external funding. Experience working with Tribal Nations and/or Indian/Tribal/Urban (I/T/U) health programs operated by the Indian Health Service is preferred. Preference will be given to applicants who are enrolled members of a federally recognized Indian tribe. The Director will be supported by a staff coordinator.

General Responsibilities

The Director is responsible for implementing and evaluating all aspects of the AIHAC in coordination with the AIHAC faculty steering committee. This committee will consist of faculty members affiliated with the UCSD-SDSU Native American Research Center for Health, a long-term tribal-academic partnership with the Indian Health Council, Inc.

Specific Responsibilities

  1. Oversee the ongoing development of the AIHAC. 
  2. Secure funding from outside agencies as Principal Investigator on the following grants, but not limited to: Indians Into Medicine grant from the Indian Health Service in 2024 and Diversity in Health Professions grant from the California Wellness Foundation. Funding will be used to provide scholarships for Native American medical students and expand the track's resources. 
  3. Serve as Course Director for MED 235: Tribal Ambulatory Healthcare Experience (MED-235), which places students at IHS sites with a UCSD affiliation.  Develop other courses, or lectures for selected courses, as needed.
  4. Screen the applications of students being considered for admissions interviews, and recommend qualified applicants for the AIHAC to the SOM's Recruitment and Admissions Committee (RAC).
  5. Liaise with leadership and faculty in the main SOM curriculum, including the Health Equity Thread Director, to ensure robust integration with the AIHAC. Examine the current curriculum critically and evaluate and modify how AI/AN race and racial disparities are presented. Liaise with faculty from other departments, including but not limited to Public Health, Pharmacy, Global Health, and Ethnic Studies to identify learning opportunities and collaboration for AIHAC students.
  6. In collaboration with the Office of Educational Development and Evaluation, assess the processes by which courses are developed and implemented, student and guest faculty/lecturers performance, and curricular outcomes.
  7. Oversee the advising and funding processes for AIHAC students.
  8. In conjunction with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, monitor the academic progress of AIHAC students.
  9. Serve on educational committees as appropriate, including Independent Study Projects of AIHAC students.  Collaborate with the PRIME-Health Equity program so AIHAC students can present their work at an annual poster presentation, and enroll in PRIME-HEq electives and leadership training opportunities.
  10. Study and disseminate UCSD's contributions to AI/AN health and medical education through scientific publications and presentations at regional and national meetings.
  11. Represent the university in regional and national medical education meetings, conferences, and interest groups to remain informed about and collaborate with AI/AN educational developments at peer institutions.
  12. Strengthen existing and form new clinical and academic partnerships with, but not limited to, the Indian Health Council (IHC), San Diego American Indian Health Center (SDAIHC), Southern Indian Health Council (SIHC), and Sycuan Medical and Dental Center (SMDC).