I asked Tonya Fancher, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Program Director, UC Merced San Joaquin Valley PRIME, to share our recent good news about scholarships for medical students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In the words of Dr. Fancher:

With the support of a recently announced $2.5 million Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the UC Davis School of Medicine can provide increased numbers of scholarships to disadvantaged students with the greatest financial need, thereby addressing one of the major barriers to pursing an advanced degree in medicine.

Underserved communities are at risk for sub-optimal health due in part to inadequate and unequal distribution of primary care physicians and a primary care physician workforce that fails to reflect the community demographic. UC Davis School of Medicine’s community-oriented program locates learning within rural (Rural PRIME), urban (TEACH-MS) and San Joaquin Valley (UC Merced San Joaquin Valley PRIME) medically underserved communities, prioritizes diversity and inclusion, and builds upon local expertise in inter-professional care and cultural humility.

In addition, the School of Medicine will:

  • expand the range of outreach and recruitment programs that enhance the pipeline toward medical school admissions;
  • enhance its array of support services to ensure that students complete medical school and achieve success on their path toward graduation, residency and clinical practice;
  • continue to implement existing recruitment and retention programs and services; and
  • strengthen and expand upon existing programs to expose and encourage students to choose primary care careers and/or to practice in medically underserved communities.

This grant recognizes the School of Medicine’s successes to date in recruiting disadvantaged and under-represented minority students and the great philanthropic support from our communities including the alumni association and generous donors in our region.