by Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Transit System

The medicine school at the University of California, San Diego is the recipient of a $1.87 million grant that expands over three years. 

The Foundation for California Community Colleges is awarding this grant to UCSD's School of Medicine, with the aim of creating a Regional Hub of Healthcare Opportunity in the County and Imperial Counties as well. This, as part of their new California Medicine Scholars Program.

More on the California Medicine Scholars Program:

The foundation originally built the program to create partnerships between community colleges, universities and medical schools, all with the common goal of increasing opportunities for students studying pre-medical programs in California. Schools such as UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Riverside School of Medicine and UCSF Fresno, all became grant recipients for the same objective in their communities as well. 

Jacob Bailey, MD, assistant director of the Program in Medical Education — Health Equity, says that this is going to make a huge difference in their profession, as it will allow students from diverse communities to expand their horizons in the medical field. 

“Historically, community colleges have not provided clear pathways toward becoming a physician,” said Jacob Bailey, MD. “California’s community college system is the largest public education system in the country, and this grant allows us to provide the opportunity for students from a diverse range of backgrounds to explore medicine as a future career.

Ramon Hernandez, DrPH, director for the Division of Child and Community Health and director of community partnerships and pathway development at UC San Diego School of Medicine, says that the impact COVID had in their industry exposed the flaws they have in terms of its lack of diversity. 

However, Dr. Hernandez says this grant will facilitate their goal to switch that around in the future. 

“The pandemic really highlighted many of the challenges we face in healthcare, particularly in regard to the lack of diversity,” Ramon Hernandez, DrPH. “The role of culture in concordant healthcare is vital — especially in our rural and urban communities — but our current physician workforce lacks people of color. This grant will help us begin addressing this issue.”

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