• Student Programs

Medical Student Courses

Below are brief descriptions of the coursework for medical students, as they apply to students interested in family medicine. For full course and schedule information, please visit the Med Student Portal. The Registrars' website is another good source of course information.

First and Second Year

Third and Fourth Year


First and Second Year


Essential Core

The Essential Core constitutes the first 18 months of medical school and consists of 9 interdisciplinary block courses organized around central themes or systems. Foundations of Patient Care (FPC), a longitudinal clinical and interviewing skills course, runs for both years. Each of the other blocks courses tackle a major biological theme; the basic and clinical sciences relevant to this theme are intertwined with other aspects of the practice of medicine, including public health, epidemiology, and the social and behavioral sciences. For more info: http://meded.ucsf.edu/ume/essential-core.


For Family and Community Medicine Electives available this quarter, please visit: http://meded.ucsf.edu/ume/first-and-second-year-electives.

Summer Opportunities

Summer Opportunities exist for UCSF students during the summer between 1st and 2nd year. These opportunities provide some funding for students to participate in a 4 week preceptorship in family and community medicine. They include the David Vanderryn Memorial Fund Summer Preceptorship Program, Chinese Hospital Summer Preceptorship Program, and the California Academy of Family Physicians Foundation Scholars Program. In addition there is a Primary Care Leadership Academy (PCLA) Summer Internship available and Homeless Health Clinic Summer Projects program. For more information on these programs, please contact FCM Student Programs.


Third and Fourth Year

Clinical Studies

The Clinical Studies curriculum consists of the third-year core clerkships and fourth-year rotations. Building on the skills and knowledge developed in the Essential Core's interdisciplinary blocks, Clinical Studies offers students a range of experiences and opportunities in the fields of medicine. All of these place new emphasis on connections across disciplines, on thematic learning objectives, and on student-directed discussion that follows clinical experiences. Throughout, the curriculum emphasizes student-directed learning, connections across disciplines, and competency-based education.


Fourth Year Rotations

For Family & Community Medicine fourth year rotations, students can choose Sub-I experiences at Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program, Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa or the inpatient service at San Francisco General Hospital. Additional domestic and international elective rotations are also available with a family medicine physician in various sites which could include an urban or rural private practice, community-based clinic or the Indian Health Service. Experiences will focus on student's area of interest such as community oriented primary care, complementary and alternative medicine or maternal and child health. Contact FCM Student Programs for specific information on fourth year rotations and visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for a good overview.


Longitudinal Structured Programs

In addition to the traditional six-week block structure of FCM 110, there are some alternative choice longitudinal structured programs available for students to cover this curriculum requirement. PISCES, KLIC, LIFE and Model SFGH are integrated programs that include FCM 110 and work in collaboration with core clerkships from other departments.


Traditional FCM 110

Traditional FCM 110 is part of the clinical core. Students are assigned to one of five main sites: Bay Area, Kaiser Rohnert Park, Kaiser Vallejo, Salinas or Fresno. In the Bay Area, students are assigned to a combination of clinical practice sites including various Bay Area Kaiser locations, UCSF Family Practice Residency Program at San Francisco General Hospital, UCSF Family Medicine Center at Lakeshore Family and a variety of other clinical practices in and around San Francisco.
Students will be taught the basic skills of diagnosis and treatment of the common problems of family practice. At Salinas, and Fresno, students have their patient care experiences in family medicine centers, general medicine clinics, or neighborhood community clinics. Students’ schedules at all sites include five or six half-day clinical sessions per week. Additional time each week is devoted to didactic and interactive seminars, which include the management of common primary care problems in adults and preventive medicine, as well as issues of behavioral and social science in primary care. Special curricular experiences during the clerkship may also provide students with exposure to geriatric home care.
Please note that although most students will have most nights and weekends free, at some sites, working on weekends or evenings may be required. Please check your specific clinic assignment before making weekend or evening commitments which cannot be changed. Current UCSF students can access information on individual sites and clinics on the FCM 110 space on iROCKET.


Community-Oriented Primary Care Project

Students are also assigned a community-oriented primary care project at a local site or a quality improvement project in a clinical setting for one or two half-day sessions per week. These project experiences share the common goal of improving the health of a large group of individuals – either a defined group within the community, or a patient population within the health care system.
A few examples of student projects:
Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco
The student helped complete the initial data collection for a needs assessment of girls-only fitness programming at the BGCSF. The overall goal of this project was to determine how best to provide programing that will keep girls engaged in physical activity at BGCSF and to provide data to support the need for more resource allocation to girls-only fitness.
Contra Costa County Health Care for the Homeless
The student studied the use of the SBIRT screening tool (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) at a Respite Center for the Homeless and analyzed the results of SBIRT surveys conducted over a 3 month period, identifying important trends and tracking the follow-up of individuals who screened positive for severe depression. Based on these results, the student designed three brief surveys to be implemented as smart phrases in order to facilitate the necessary follow-up for patients who screen positive for any of the primary SBIRT questions.
Kaiser Vallejo
This project built off of the work of a previous student, who did a literature review assessing the racial disparity of Type 2 DM prevalence and designed a curriculum for a class specifically targeted
for Spanish-speaking diabetic patients in educating them about their disease. Working with one of the physicians, the student conducted a needs assessment around helping Latino patients
achieve adequate nutrition to control their diabetes and created a recipe book that could be distributed to patients as part of the health education class. The student did a literature review to find
evidence based diabetic diets as well as effective past strategies used to specifically to counsel Latino patients. Using the principles gained from this research, the student designed recipes that
would hopefully be more personally relevant for these patients and help them to start to educate themselves on what type of foods they can eat to help control their diabetes.
Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation Center, Brainstorm Program
Brainstorm is a small community of individuals with a common diagnosis of brain injury. Each person deals with his and her own unique struggles – many with memory deficits, with physical handicaps, cognitive and psychosocial challenges. Many years ago, a graduate student chronicled the memorable stories of the Brainstorm members. Ultimately the stories formed a book called Assertive as the Sky. Another group of students set out to produce a second volume by interviewing the current Brainstorm members and compiling their stories around their brain injuries. The program manager told them that Assertive as the Sky has been an invaluable tool for helping introduce newcomers, volunteers, and potential donors to the organization.