Medical Student Education Program | Department of Family and Community Medicine | UC Davis Health

Medical Student Education Program

What is Family Medicine?

Student Eduction Program

Family medicine is a specialty of medicine that dedicates itself to the total health medical care of the patient. Characteristics of this commitment include:

  • Care of all ages, from infancy through adulthood, including pregnancy.
  • Continuity of care throughout life provided in ambulatory, inpatient, nursing homes and in-home care settings.
  • Comprehensive care that emphasizes wellness and the prevention of illnesses, diseases, and disorders through acute, chronic, and rehabilitative care.
  • Awareness of how family members interact and how those interactions affect the health and treatment of each family member.
  • Community factors, such as socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, and work environment that influence and affect the health of the family and individual.
  • The family physician may work to improve the community, in addition to recognizing and utilizing this knowledge in the care of the individual patient.
  • Mind-body integration, including seeking to learn the causes of stresses and resources, which are affecting the health of the patient and helping to enhance the strengths.
  • Humanism, respect for all individuals, focusing on the quality of the patient's life and dedication to developing a relationship with the patient where the physician is a caring, nurturing partner.

Medical Student Education Program goals and philosophy

The goals of the program are to provide students with:

  • A well-balanced medical education.
  • Accurate and current career information on Family and Community Medicine.
  • Curriculum planning and career advising.
  • Information and guidance in residency selection.
  • Hands-on experience in Family and Community Medicine sites through the courses offered and successful role models.
  • Opportunities to develop leadership skills through student activities, such as student-run clinics, Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) officer positions, conferences, and community outreach.
  • Preparation to work with patients from diverse, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Leadership Skills

Medical students have a number of opportunities to develop leadership skills in the pathway, from local committees, advisory boards and statewide networks to national organizations. These committees include:

The Family Medicine Interest Group consists of fourteen members representing all four years of medical school who coordinate noontime lectures on family medicine issues, facilitate suturing, casting, and phlebotomy workshops, and promote family medicine by advertising workshops, forums, dinners and speakers to other medical students. Participating members are often selected for statewide and national conferences, such as CAFP's Scientific Assembly and UC Davis' Network Education Conference.

The California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) is a statewide network of students, residents and physicians interested in participating in family and community medicine. CAFP sponsors annual statewide conferences on career opportunities and residency selection.

The Medical Students | AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) is a nationwide network of students, residents and physicians interested in the support, recruitment and retention of those interested in family medicine. They offer a free membership for students and many scholarships and opportunities to attend and present at national conferences.


Program forums are held regularly, primarily for third year and fourth-year medical students. Topics include the role of the family physician and how it differs from other specialties, how to apply to residency programs, medical ethics, economic changes in health care, and family medicine as a career choice are discussed. 

Career guidance

The Department of Family and Community Medicine is dedicated to guiding students through the career decision process. The department's staff and faculty are genuinely concerned about each student and committed to guiding a student's career path in a direction that best suits each individual. Career information is provided for students throughout their four years of medical school.


Family medicine physicians, both full-time and volunteer clinical faculty, are available to be advisors and mentors to medical students. Advisors share their perspectives on health care, being a physician, how to thrive in medical school, and write letters of recommendation for residencies. Brief descriptions, backgrounds and interests of the department's full-time faculty can be found here

Award in Excellence

The award is designed to recognize excellence and achievement in areas of leadership, academics, and community service. Students are selected for meritorious achievements during pre-clinical and clinical years, as well for distinguished service, primary-care research, and distinguished leadership. Students will receive the award in excellence in their senior year to ensure that residency directors are aware of their special accomplishments. Additionally, students receive special awards and support to family medicine conferences.

How to participate:

Simply attend any event or email our office to be added to the listserv. Your participation is only limited to your interests and availability.