Medical Education

With a commitment of $60 million, the Prime Healthcare Foundation established the California University of Science and Medicine, a private, non-profit medical school located in Southern California in 2018. Founded with a mission of caring for and educating the underserved and promoting health equity, CUSM graduated its first class of physicians in May 2022 and is growing rapidly as it trains the next generation of healthcare providers. Thirteen percent of its first graduating class comes from historically underrepresented groups (Hispanic/Latino, African American and Native American) and 19 percent from the Inland Empire of Southern California. Furthermore, 20 percent of CUSM’s inaugural MD class come from families of low socio-economic status and 16 percent are first generation college students.

The California University of Science and Medicine cultivates an environment that facilitates advances in education, research and healthcare delivery, and is partnered with Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, the County of San Bernardino's top-quality healthcare facility, and other hospitals in the county and throughout Southern California to train the next generation of innovative, compassionate and diverse healthcare professionals.

The need for a medical school - physician shortage:

According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the United States faces a shortage of 91,500 primary care and specialist physicians by 2020. In San Bernardino County, there is just one primary care physician per 1,201 people, one half the number compared to the national rate. In California, the number of physician and surgeon licenses per 100,000 is 292, while in San Bernardino County, it is only 202 physicians.

Healthcare delivery is severely compromised in the Inland Empire region located within San Bernardino County. The 2010 US census listed the city of San Bernardino, which is adjacent to Colton, as the poorest city in the nation after Detroit. Employment growth in the county is characterized by lower-wage jobs with fewer health insurance benefits. This correlates with the limited number of healthcare providers located in urban and rural areas. It is critical that more physicians are educated to provide care in the region, and CUSM has been established in San Bernardino County, the nation’s largest county, to address these issues.

The need for a medical school - aging Baby Boomer population:

Baby Boomers are individuals born between 1946 and 1964 and make up about 26.1 percent of the U.S. population, or an estimated 78 million people. California is one of five states with the largest Baby Boomer population. It is expected that one of every six Californians will be 65 or older by 2030 and, as the Baby Boomer population ages, a more intense, dignified and responsive health care system will be required to meet their medical needs.

The need for a medical school - California medical students abroad:

According to a government report, from 1998 to 2008 the federal government loaned $1.5 billion to U.S. students enrolled in foreign medical institutions through the Federal Family Education Loan Program. Of the 42,000 medical student applicants, only 18,600 matriculated and the remainder was forced to consider alternatives. For example, 20 to 25 percent of students currently enrolled in medical schools in the Caribbean islands are from California. A majority of these students graduated from elite California colleges with excellent grade-point averages. California, however, has just 8 fully accredited MD schools, and one new one (UC Riverside), for a population of 39 million; in comparison, New York, with a population of 19.5 million, has 13 MD schools.

To further expand opportunities for medical students, CUSM has partnered with Inland Empire Health Plan to establish a multi-million dollar scholarship fund. This fund would cover 100 percent of qualifying students' four-year tuition, in exchange for the students' commitment to practice medicine in the Inland Empire for at least a five-year period.