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Medical Education Building Planning

Project Relationship to University Mission & Objectives

The HBS-ME building supports the fundamental instructional and research missions of the University of California. The building will provide essential campus facilities to support the academic enterprise while contributing to the involvement and improvement of the local community.


As the first American student-centered, research university built in the 21st century, UC Merced's strong graduate and research programs mesh with high-quality undergraduate programs. UC Merced’s development has been predicated on the principle that new knowledge increasingly depends on linkages among the disciplines, fostered and encouraged by cross-disciplinary inquiry and discovery. The UCM, UCSF, UCSF-Fresno eight-year pipeline program in medical education is exemplary of this principle. The BS/MD program is an eight-year program that commences with enrollment into an undergraduate degree at UC Merced, terminates with an MD at UCSF Fresno, and includes rotations through SJV clinical training opportunities.


Born as a member of the distinguished network known as the University of California, UC Merced seeks strong and mutually supportive relationships with a variety of collaborators in its region: public and private colleges and universities; and federal and state organizations that share UC Merced’s educational and research goals. This networking principle is also realized through the physical and intellectual integration between UC Merced and its surrounding community. The concept of networking and collaboration is fundamental to the colocation of the Health Sciences Research Institute, the Departments of Psychological Sciences and Public Health and the medical education program in the HBS-ME building. UCM’s Psychological Sciences and Public Health


Departments have a regional, rural focus and provide training in the deep and specific issues of marginalized, rural, and underserved populations. These departments will help to provide essential research and training opportunities for undergraduate medical education. UC Merced students majoring or minoring in Psychological Sciences or Public Health will be ideal candidates for UC Merced’s Medical Education program and will serve as a pipeline for physicians and mid-level health care providers. Developing a pipeline of physicians and mid-level health care providers drawn from the catchment areas of UC Merced and UCSF-Fresno and trained in the Valley is critical for improving health status in the Valley. Students who grow up and train in the SJV are most likely to remain in the Valley to practice.


The growth in the medical education program is based on current funding expectations and LCME approval. Initially the class size will be limited to twelve students who are admitted to the BS/MD program annually. Steady state for the BS/MD program will be reached by 2031 if enrollment is kept constant and there is no escalation in enrollment growth. In alignment with UC Merced goals, as additional funding and LCME approval are granted, the annual target enrollment will ultimately be increased to 50 students per class per year.


UC Merced also strives to attract and retain diverse and talented faculty and students that inherently understand and are dedicated to collaborating on the multidisciplinary research that is necessary to address the complex health problems facing the SJV. The campus expects that graduates will focus not only on the creation of knowledge about emerging medical, public and mental health problems in hard-to-reach communities, but also on identifying solutions that are translated back to the community, thereby increasing public health capacity in California and the nation.