Rural-PRIME is designed to enhance the UC Davis medical school experience and provide students with specific knowledge and skills that they will need for rural practice in California.  It has created a new model for teaching that utilizes advanced technologies to provide the rural physician in-training with up-to-date medical knowledge and to increase specialty access for rural communities.

Years 1 and 2

While acclimating to the demands of medical school, Rural PRIME students participate in a variety of seminars and workshops one to two times a month to develop the skills they will need to treat the unique health challenges facing rural California residents. This includes an understanding of social determinants of health and training on leadership skills including education and advocacy. Students will also receive training with telemedicine technologies via simulation sessions, which they will also use during their clerkship years and for patient specialty care in their future rural practice.

In Year 2, Rural PRIME students expand on the skills and knowledge developed in the seminars and workshops from Year 1 to develop yearlong scholarly inquiry and community engagement projects. After a year of mentorship from program faculty, students will present their projects to their UC Davis PRIME peers. Additional seminars and workshops are introduced to prepare students to transition into their clinical training in Year 3.

Teaching by Rural Physicians
Rural-PRIME students are paired with physician preceptors who practice in the rural communities surrounding Sacramento. The physician preceptor assists the student in learning physical examination and history taking skills, provides exposure to rural practice and demonstrates leadership and teamwork within their professional setting.

Peer Mentorship
Students are paired with a "big sib" within Rural-PRIME.  The "big sib" encourages and assists the student with the transition into medical school and PRIME. 

Year 3

Clinical Clerkships at Rural Sites

Students will spend 16-20 weeks immersed in rural communities:  

  • Primary Care: Students will spend all 8 weeks of their Primary Care clerkship at a rural clerkship site.
  • Pediatrics: Students will spend 4 weeks of their Pediatric clerkship at a rural clerkship site.
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology: Students will spend 4 weeks of their Ob/Gyn clerkship at a rural clerkship site.
  • Surgery: Students will spend 4 weeks of their Surgery clerkship at a rural clerkship site.

Housing is available to students while they are at the rural clerkship sites and students will participate in their class room didactics and doctoring sessions remotely, utilizing video-conferencing equipment. Students may spend the entire four to eight weeks at the rural clerkship site without returning to Sacramento, if they choose.

Master's Degree Program (Optional)
Rural-PRIME students will have the option to complete a master's degree program after their third year of medical school.  The student can choose the program based on their interests (e.g. public health, health informatics, research) with the guidance of the program director and their career advisor.

Year 4
Students complete 4 weeks of rural clinical rotations.

Students must obtain the equivalent of 4 weeks of Rural selective credit. This requirement can be fulfilled by one or more of the following:

  • Doctoring 4 course - Senior Rural-PRIME student who participates as facilitator to teach Rural-PRIME MS1, MS2, and MS3s clinical skills and clinical reasoning (may fulfill medical school’s final requirement of a Special Study Module) 
  • Scholarly Project Option – research project related to rural health or rural health education (will fulfill the medical school’s requirement of a Scholarly Project Option (PDF)
  • Curriculum development for Rural-PRIME –  developing curriculum for the seminar series or the CVC sessions for the more junior Rural-PRIME students
  • Admissions committee – interview applicants with the PRIME leadership for the next class of Rural-PRIME