Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC)

Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC)
University of California-Irvine
Academic Level
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus


The Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC) trains and supports Latino, bilingual medical students at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to develop culturally competent physicians equipped to work with, address, and advocate for the healthcare needs of Latino communities. PRIME-LC’s goal is to improve the health care of individual Latino patients by providing the Latino community with culturally sensitive, Spanish-speaking physicians who are well aware of medical, economic and social conditions prevalent within the Latino community.

Program Description

Established in 2004, PRIME-LC was designed to meet the need for more culturally and linguistically fluent physicians to care for Latino communities in California and the United States.

PRIME-LC is a five-year MD/Master’s program for admitted students at the UCI School of Medicine. Students must apply separately to this program once they have received admission to the School of Medicine. Program participants demonstrate a deep-rooted commitment to impoverished Latino communities and have language skills allowing them to communicate effectively in Spanish. Students complete additional instruction during their first 3 years of medical school focusing on Latino history, culture, and healthcare taught by UCI’s Department of Chicano and Latino Studies, helping train students as advocates for the Latino community. During their fourth year of training, students complete an all paid, one-month capstone clinical rotation in Peru. PRIME-LC students also receive preferential placement in hospitals and clinics with a higher proportion of Spanish-speaking patients. All students are provided a scholarship that nearly erases the cost of a one-year master’s program.


  • Increased Latino physicians:  Nearly 70% of PRIME-LC students identify as Latino. Nationally, only 6% of all medical students are Latino. In California, only 9% of all medical students are Latino.
  • Increased service to Latino communities:  68% of program graduates work in community clinics, public hospitals, or academic centers which see a large share of patients from impoverished Latino communities.

Latinos in Higher Education - 2024 Compilation of Fast Facts - web pop-up banner with "Learn More" button.