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UC Berkeley | UCSF


The Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US) is a special track for JMP students committed to working with the urban underserved. The mission of PRIME-US is to nurture, support and equip medical students to carry out their goal of effectively promoting health equity and providing healthcare to urban underserved communities. The program includes four students per class at the JMP on the UC Berkeley campus and another group of students in each class at the UC San Francisco School of Medicine. For more information on PRIME-US, visit the UCSF web page.

PRIME-US at the JMP aims to:

  • Attract medical students from diverse backgrounds who have a strong interest in caring for the urban underserved
  • Provide an undergraduate medical education experience for these students that supports them to become leaders in the care of urban underserved communities
  • Enable these students to educate others at the JMP, UCSF, other health professional schools, and the broader community about the rewards and challenges of caring for the urban underserved

PRIME-US is committed to nurturing and promoting diversity as defined by the University of California:

“Diversity – a defining feature of California’s past, present, and future – refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region, and more.”

In addition to the regular JMP curriculum, PRIME-US, JMP students:

  • Participate in a week-long summer orientation with their UCSF peers.
  • Attend weekly seminars and site visits to better understand issues affecting underserved populations and to build skills related to working in underserved settings.
  • Lead community engagement and service-learning projects.
  • Choose a master’s thesis topic related to medically underserved populations in the United States.
  • Join their UCSF classmates for the capstone experience in the fifth year of study.

Administrative Program Director, PRIME-US at JMP

Leanna W. Lewis, EdD, MSW

Leanna W. Lewis is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and for nearly two decades, she has worked with a culturally and socioeconomically diverse population in schools, community agencies, and healthcare settings. Leanna is an experienced lecturer, trainer, and consultant in the areas of diversity and inclusion, cultural humility, culturally responsive and trauma-informed practice, and social determinants of health. Leanna joined the UCSF Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US) in 2015. She is the Administrative Program Director for the PRIME-US at the UC Berkeley Joint Medical Program. Leanna also holds the position of Manager of Cultural Humility Initiatives for the Department for Community Health and Engagement at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Previously, Leanna spent more than a decade as a mental health clinician at the Center for the Vulnerable Child (CVC) department at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, providing home-based clinical mental health services and support services to foster youth and their families through a National Health Care for the Homeless program.