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UC Merced medical school to accept first students in fall 2011
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A new partnership between the University of California, Merced and the University of California, Davis School of Medicine will begin training medical students next fall.

The UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education will accept its first cohort of six medical students in fall 2011, with a focus on meeting the health needs of the region.

Students will spend two years studying at the UC Davis medical school campus before a two-year stint in clinical training at Valley health care facilities.

"Our program focuses on excellence in student education and integrates continuous quality-of-care improvements," said Dr. Fred Meyers, executive director of Medical Education and Academic Planning for UC Merced. "It emphasizes the importance of community-based research to enhance the health and well being of everyone living in the San Joaquin Valley and, ultimately, it enables these future physicians to become the leaders of health care and public health in the Valley."

The new program will build on the successes of UC Davis’ existing Rural Program in Medical Education, as well as UC Merced’s Health Sciences Research Institute and Center of Excellence for the Study of Health Disparities in Rural and Ethnic Underserved Populations.

 Applications are being accepted until Oct. 1. Given the program’s goal of creating more doctors able to address the unique medical challenges of the Valley, applicants are asked to be knowledgeable of the Valley’s underserved medical populations, and have a desire to practice in the region upon graduation.

"The health needs of the San Joaquin Valley are well documented," said Dr. John D. Stobo, senior vice president for Health Sciences and Services for the University of California. "The development of a UC Merced San Joaquin Valley-PRIME in conjunction with UC Davis enables UC to develop the high-quality programs required to address the pressing health concerns of the Valley in a meaningful and expeditious way."

The cost-efficient partnership between UC Merced and UC Davis is expected to lead toward a planned independent UC Merced School of Medicine, once the economy recovers enough to fund the expensive new school.

For more information, and to apply, visit