UC San Diego School of Medicine, USA

The University of California San Diego School of Medicine is the graduate medical school of the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, California. It was the third medical school in the University of California system and is the only medical school in theSan Diego metropolitan area. It is closely affiliated with the medical centers that are part of UC San Diego Health.

In 1962, the fledgling university began searching for a dean to head its planned medical school, which would be the first such institution in San Diego County. The concept was based on the successful models of public medical education and practice in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The man eventually chosen was Joseph Stokes III, an expert in the fields of preventive medicine and cardiovascular epidemiology. Stokes played a key role in aggressively recruiting leading physician scientists of its era and rapidly building the institute’s reputation as an elite medical school. Faculty members recruited to the university by Stokes included Y.C. Fung, who would later be considered the father of bioengineering. His efforts were aided by the campus’s existing strengths in the biological sciences and close proximity to the famed Salk Institute.

The basic science building was the first building constructed on the School of Medicine grounds, which were east of Revelle Collegeand north of New Miramar Road (later renamed La Jolla Village Drive). The first cohort of 32 students enrolled in 1968, while construction on the clinical science building and adjacent 100-bed Veterans Administration Hospital were still ongoing. The inaugural class in 1971 achieved the highest score in the country on the National Board of Medical Examiners Step 1 Examination, propelling the young School into the national spotlight. The school’s first degrees were conferred upon them in 1972. Clinical rotations took place at the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, which had been constructed by the county in 1963 and leased to the university in 1966.

The School of Medicine offers several programs and services for medical students, including the Healthy Student Program, the Office of Educational Support Services, the Careers in Medicine Program, Faculty Mentors, the Office of Student Affairs advisors, the Big Sib program, Senior Mentors, and Senior Faculty Advisors. In addition, medical students run nearly 40 active organizations.

The UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project, in partnership with the community, provides accessible, quality health care for the underserved in respectful environments in which students, health professionals, patients and community members learn from each other. It seeks to sustain health through free medical and preventive care, health education and access to social service. It has locations in Downtown San Diego, Pacific Beach, National City, and Lemon Grove.

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