University of Southern California

Keck School of Medicine Primary Care Initiative

The Primary Care Initiative (PCI) educates the campus community students, faculty, residents and staff about primary care through lectures, workshops, service, leadership, advocacy, and research. Any interested Keck affiliate may participate in PCI-sponsored sponsored activities, selectives, and electives.

Keck School of Medicine Primary Care Program

The Keck School of Medicine Primary Care Program (PCP) trains primary care-focused medical students by working with low-income patients in community health settings with primary care providers (family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics, medicine- pediatrics). Students in the program are provided with opportunities to build longitudinal relationships with patients and primary care faculty throughout their four years of medical school. Under the supervision of faculty mentors, students become part of a primary care student community. They experience continuity of care with diverse, underserved patients, become part of a patient-center medical home, participate in an interprofessional collaborative care teams, have opportunities for primary care research, and develop leadership skills.

In the traditional Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) pre-clerkship experience, medical students work with their ICM mentor and interview and/or exam patients only in a hospital-based setting throughout their first 18 months at the KSOM. The Primary Care Program offers the traditional ICM experience, but also has the medical students working alongside a primary care, community clinic-based mentor, where they will see patients in a clinic setting monthly. During the pre-clerkship phase, PCP students will receive additional education in nutrition and exercise, and help teach diabetic health education and exercise classes at the Los Angeles General Wellness Center. Additionally, PCP students are trained in inter-professional team care and geriatrics. They work in elderly, community based, independent living facilities alongside faculty and health professional students from the schools of psychology, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and social work, providing team-based education and support. Students also receive skills-based workshops and lectures on a variety of primary care topics such as: sexual health, preventive care, family planning, newborn care. There are additional optional curricular enhancement opportunities to work with primary care physicians working with marginalized communities in tattoo-removal with recently incarcerated and gang communities, HIV care, with breastfeeding, pregnant and postpartum women, people with substance use disorders in a harm-reduction clinic, and a street medicine team. Students will spend additional training in their senior seminar post-clerkship in further, more advanced primary care training.