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PRIME-LC Residency Track

Program in Medical Education for Latino Communities (PRIME-LC) Expands to Residency Level Training

In July, 2010, the UCI Family Medicine Residency Program began a special PRIME-LC track within the residency at the UCI Family Health Center in Santa Ana. The track recruits like-minded, service-oriented applicants with a passion for serving marginalized communities, and creating leaders from within the communities they serve.  


Health leaders for the underserved.


Continuing the original vision of the nationally recognized PRIME-LC program started at the UCI School of Medicine, the mission of this training track is to train highly skilled, linguistically and culturally fluent family physicians who will become leaders in addressing healthcare disparities of underserved Latino and other minority communities of California.


Through a variety of innovative curricular experiences integrated throughout the three years of residency, family physicians graduating from this training track will have a unique and specific set of knowledge and skills that will make them highly desirable candidates for positions of leadership at community health centers, public health departments, academic faculty positions, or careers involving work in healthcare policy and advocacy.

Centralia 2019

Program Elements

Curricular elements fall into the following seven (7) general areas:

Advanced Spanish Language and Cultural Fluency »

  • Chicano/Latino studies seminars examining how the Latino experience of health and illness is shaped by history, culture, family dynamics, spirituality and affected by the social determinants of health (R2/R3)
  • Small group forums to improve language skills and cultural awareness, with opportunities to learn the nuances of advanced patient communication in Spanish in such areas as motivational interviewing, breaking bad news and supportive counseling
  • Participation in diabetes group visits, education classes and community health fairs for Latino patients
Community Engagement »

Throughout the three years, residents have increasing levels of contact and involvement with local community organizations.

  • Visits to community organizations (R1 year)
  • Service on the board of directors for a local community non-profit organization (R2 and R3)
  • Participation in a collaborative service or research project that addresses health, social or environmental issues relevant to the local underserved community.
  • Participation in community health fair
Leadership Skills Development »

Second-year residents participate in a unique resident physician leadership skills course. Example topics include:

  • Effective communication – how to engage in difficult conversations and negotiation, lead meetings effectively, give powerful presentations
  • Leading change in organizations – developing projects, building teams, motivating others
  • Mentoring and supervising others – giving and receiving feedback
  • Healthcare economics – understanding basic financial management tools and being able to make a business case for a change initiative

Throughout the three years, residents complete online leadership and quality courses from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, leading to the IHI Open School Certificate.

Innovative Models of Medical Care and Practice »

Meeting the needs of underserved communities often requires developing innovative systems of care that are specifically designed to meet the needs of patients in that community. Through exposure to and participation in examples of innovative care models, residents develop important tools to meet the needs of future underserved communities:

  • Group medical visits
  • Mobile medical services
  • Telemedicine visits
Junior Faculty Development: Teaching and Mentoring »

Both during residency and after graduation, PRIME-LC trained physicians have the potential to be powerful role models, mentors and teachers. Preparation for these roles include:

  • Student mentoring, including opportunities to present to middle and high school students in underserved communities to foster interest and awareness in health professions at early ages, as well as to mentor pre-med and PRIME students interested in Family Medicine
  • Faculty development, which includes instruction in a variety of academic areas including precepting, lecture presentations, leading group discussions, basic grant writing and research project development
  • Reflective sessions, which are titled "Stories," and involve all PRIME-LC residents meeting together as a group to share in depth discussions about the practice of medicine.
Rural, Migrant and International Health »

For one month in the third year, residents have the opportunity to experience and learn about the unique health, social and environmental issues of rural, migrant or international communities in an away rotation. The month experience includes:

  • Opportunities for direct patient care in the rural clinic and/or hospital
  • Projects involving community assessment, practice management, and home and occupational site visits
Community research project eligible for journal submission or poster presentation »

On Program Completion

At the time of graduation from this residency track, in addition to the usual residency certificate, the graduate will:

  • Receive a special certificate denoting completion of the PRIME-LC Family Medicine Residency Training Track, referencing extra training
  • Receive a certificate denoting completion of the IHI Open School curriculum
  • Have completed a community research project eligible for journal submission or poster presentation


Is this a separate residency program from the current UCI Family Medicine Residency? Will I still do the same rotations as the other residents?

This is not a different or separate, free standing program. Residents of this track still participate in and benefit from all the current required family medicine rotations along with the other residents to obtain a good core education in family medicine. The unique curricular elements of the track are made available through a combination of using some block elective time and longitudinal experiences.

Would I be a good candidate for this program? Is this only open to PRIME-LC medical students or can any medical student apply? Who are you looking for?

While the program encourages PRIME-LC students to consider this residency, it’s certainly not restricted to them. We welcome applications from any qualified medical student. Obviously, given the goal and mission of the program, we would like to see some demonstration of previous commitment to and experience working with underserved populations — especially, but not limited to, Latino communities. Priority is given to those with proficiency in conversational Spanish at minimum.

How do I apply?

Please identify yourself through the ERAS application, and your goals for this opportunity will be discussed during your interview.

For further information, please contact us or see the PRIME-LC flyer.


John Billimek, PhD

Co-Director, PRIME-LC Residency Track

School of Medicine | Family Medicine

Interests: Medication adherence, diabetes, health disparities, social determinants of health, doctor-patient communication, life context and chronic disease management.

Dylan Hanami, MD (Starting October 2020)

Co-Director, PRIME-LC Residency Track

School of Medicine | Family Medicine

Interests: Abortion in primary care, reproductive justice, advocacy and community engagement, medication-assisted treatment in primary care, implicit bias, health care disparities, gender-affirming care