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About the Pathway


San Joaquin Valley PRIME + BS to MD pathway prepares diverse students from the SJV to become outstanding future physicians ready to serve their communities. SJVPP students complete their Bachelor of Science (BS) degree at UC Merced with relevant experiences to prepare them for health careers. After successfully completing the BS component, students have a reserved medical training spot in the SJV for their MD. Students begin medical school at UC Merced for “Foundations 1” (1.5 years). y then transition to UCSF Fresno for “Foundations 2” and “Career Launch” (2.5 years). To remain connected to their communities, students remain in the SJV for the entire eight years of their BS and MD training. SJVPP students graduate exceptionally well prepared to apply to residency in any specialty.

The 4-year baccalaureate program in the SJV PRIME+ program is designed to give enrolled students a broad introduction to understanding health, illness, health care, and prevention for patients, families, and communities; the relationship between individuals and health care systems; and the impact that physicians can have advocating for communities, addressing complex problems, advancing research, and making a difference in promoting health equity. Experiences for all students include:

  • Major in biology, chemistry, or bio-engineering
  • Community engagement opportunities
  • Health care observer-ship opportunities
  • Health research opportunities
  • Summer engagement opportunities
  • Join the Pre-health Living and Learning Community
  • Mentoring by physicians and medical students


The UCSF School of Medicine Bridges curriculum prepares physician leaders to transform 21st century health care. Our students work collaboratively with interprofessional teams to provide compassionate patient care while broadening their knowledge, advancing science, and seeking new ways to improve health care delivery in their communities and nationwide.

The MD program objectives are defined by seven core MD competencies: patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, systems-based practice, and interprofessional collaboration.

SJVPP students will engage UCSF Bridges curriculum; this primarily includes small groups, lectures, labs, simulations, and health care experiences delivered in person at UC Merced and UCSF Fresno. Within the structure of the Bridges curriculum, faculty will highlight exemplars from the Central Valley - such as clinical concerns, community strengths, and scientific innovation – to promote SJVPP students’ understanding and insight into the unique strengths and challenges of the SJV.