The California Medicine Scholars Program

California lacks a comprehensive strategy across its higher education systems to develop a pipeline for a diverse physician workforce that the state’s population demands. California’s vulnerable communities overwhelmingly reside in health professional shortage areas like the Central Valley, rural communities, as well as low socio-economic urban micro-communities — and are now the same populations who have been hardest hit throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the communities targeted by The California Medicine Scholars Program (CMSP), a structured pathway that taps into the diversity of the California Community Colleges to support and increase the numbers of underrepresented minority physicians.

About the Scholars Program

The California Medicine Scholars will be selected from community colleges who are part of the Regional Hubs of Healthcare Opportunity (RHHOs).  Student participants will benefit from a support system that includes priority enrollment, enhanced curriculum, tailored advising, guidance and encouragement to utilize current transfer pathways, and medical school and clinical partnerships, among other support and mentoring services.

The California Medicine Scholars Program (CMSP) is a systemwide, collaborative pathway that provides a comprehensive statewide strategy to build a more robust and diverse primary care physician workforce through improved regional and statewide collaborations.  The Regional Hubs of Healthcare Opportunity (RHHOs) will implement the scholar’s program in their communities.

An RHHO includes community colleges, 4-year universities, a medical school, and community-based health clinics and organizations.  Eventually this expansion and diversification of the physician workforce will increase access to culturally and linguistically appropriate care for underserved communities and communities of color throughout the state of California while also providing a pre-med pathway for community college students.