University of Southern California

The Primary Care Initiative, introduces all Keck School of Medicine of USC students to primary care and nurtures, supports, educates and develops those students whose career goal is to become a primary care physician. We will do this by providing primary care clinical, research, leadership, policy and educational opportunities in a variety of settings.

Welcome to the Keck School of Medicine of USC Primary Care, Family Medicine, and Community Medicine student website. This site includes multiple links that will assist you in exploring a career in primary care. Furthermore, it will connect you to valuable resources, opportunities, and experiences in research, community resources, scholarships, fellowships and loan options, family medicine professional organizations, and summer and volunteer opportunities for first through fourth year medical students interested in family medicine and other primary care specialties.


PRIMARY CARE INITIATIVE – The Keck-USC Primary Care Initiative is a new program designed to increase the number of KSOM medical students who enter community-based primary care by providing them with multiple community and primary care experiences and faculty mentoring. Additionally, the program will stimulate and empower the specialty-minded students who have a community medicine interest, by exposing them to the role a medical specialist may play in caring for the needs of community medicine patients.

FAMILY MEDICINE- Family Medicine is one of the main specialties within primary care. Today it is rooted in the historical generalist tradition. Family medicine is a three-dimensional specialty, incorporating (1) knowledge, (2) skill and (3) process. Although knowledge and skill may be shared with other specialties, the family medicine process is unique. At the center of this process is the patient-physician relationship with the patient viewed in the context of the family. It is the extent to which this relationship is valued, developed, nurtured and maintained that distinguishes family medicine from all other specialties.




–          1st – 4th Year Overview:

These links encompass year-specific ways and opportunities that a student can explore a career in family medicine, general internal medicine, and general pediatrics.

–          The Choosing a Primary Care Career Connect & Select Program

This program will provide medical students a “go-to” person in primary care and community medicine to ask questions about career development, life style, and other information regarding the primary care specialties.

–          Shadowing, ICM, & Community Diagnosis

These community-based focus experiences are designed to introduce medical students to the challenges and rewards of community-based primary care by providing them with the opportunities to spend a day observing doctors and their medical staff, and conducting patient histories and physical exams, among other learning experiences.

–         Clerkships

There are multiple venues in which USC Keck medical students can experience community-based medicine throughout their four years of medical school including inner city sites in Los Angeles, suburban and HMO sites, schools, homeless and free clinics, rural health sites in California, Hawaii, Arkansas and Alaska, HIV sites, and a tribal health center.

The Family Medicine Clerkship wiki is a searchable, ever expanding database of almost anything you would want to know about family medicine, including preceptor sites and reviews, fourth year electives, and residency programs. Students can also contribute to it!

–           Selectives/Electives

The 4th year community medicine selectives and electives are designed to immerse the interested 4th year medical students into community health through a variety of experiences including patient contacts in a variety of community medicine venues, legislative opportunities, and working with members from a community medicine health care team. In addition, students will gain an understanding of billing, coding, and other economic parameters that sustain the viability of a community medicine clinic.

–          Research  & Service Opportunities

KSOM student research and service opportunities within the community.

–          Funding Resources

Financial resources during and after medical school to assist  you in solving the monetary concerns within a career in primary care such as scholarships, grants, fellowships, and loan repayments.

–          Student Organizations

Learn about primary care professional student organizations on campus.


LINKS- Consists of important and valuable links to family medicine information, funding resources, professional associations, programs, etc.

CALENDAR- List of upcoming events within primary care and community medicine.

ALUMNI- Consists of KSOM alumni profiles describing their life and career in primary care.

GALLERY- Photos from events and programs of the Primary Care Community Medicine Program, Family Medicine Clerkship, KSOM affiliates, and student professional organizations.

CONTACTS- Contact information for the Primary Care Community Medicine Program, the Family Medicine Clerkship, student organizations, and other Primary Care programs and departments.

MEDIA- A list of links of KECK-USC’s primary care and community medicine efforts in the media.