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Medical Schools in San Diego, CA with Degree Program Descriptions

Located within roughly 15 miles of downtown, one medical school offers programs in the San Diego area. To find out if the university offers the educational opportunities you're looking for, read an overview of its programs and requirements.

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San Diego Medical School Programs

Individuals interested in pursuing a medical degree in San Diego can take advantage of nationally ranked medical programs offered through a university that's only about 20 minutes from the center of the city. This article focuses on the program formats and coursework at the school; it also includes a table of stats about the institution.

  • The University of California - San Diego (UCSD), located around 16 miles from the city's downtown area, offers a Doctor of Medicine (MD) program as well as a number of related graduate programs. Students can choose from master's degrees in healthcare leadership and clinical research as well as a joint MD-PhD program for aspiring medical scientists. A doctoral program in public health is also available at the school.

University of California - San Diego

In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of California - San Diego #38 among top national universities. UCSD's medical school was ranked #39 for primary care and #15 for research, with AIDS and drug/alcohol abuse research specializations ranking as #11 and #9 in the country, respectively. In addition, the medical school has a faculty-student ratio of 2.5:1, with a faculty composed of 1,285 full-time and 23 part-time members.

Doctor of Medicine

MD training at UCSD is through a traditional 4-year program that provides a strong foundation in human health and disease with the skills necessary for clinical practice. A total of 84 incoming students each year are divided equally into 6 academic communities led by a faculty director; each group is provided with counseling, support, and mentoring by various faculty members. The first 2 years of the curriculum include case-based learning modules and case reviews, as well as courses focused on human organ systems.

The third year concentrates on core clinical clerkships that range from 4-12 weeks in length. Clerkships include the study of medicine, neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and reproductive health. The final year requires 9 months of clerkships and clinical electives, as well as an Independent Study Project (ISP). Over the course of 4 years, students must also complete a total of 135 hours dedicated to elective work.

Master of Advanced Studies in the Leadership of Healthcare Organizations (MAS)

The MAS degree program requires 42-quarter units of coursework that can be completed in a year of intensive study, although students can choose to complete the program within 2 or 3 years if necessary. This program focuses on management and leadership skills in combination with healthcare and clinical processes. Core courses include financial accounting, management, healthcare leadership, and modern healthcare issues. Electives focus on public policy, political advocacy, and global health policy.

Master of Clinical Research (CREST)

CREST is a part-time graduate degree program designed for mid-stage professionals who want to conduct patient-based research in academia and the healthcare industry. The curriculum includes core courses in epidemiology, informatics, biostatistics, health services research, data management, and patient-oriented research. This coursework is complemented by professional development seminars and electives in data analysis. There are elective tracks available that allow for specialization, including clinical research leadership and management; biostatistics/data analysis/biomedical informatics and data mining; and global health research. Completion of a clinical research project is required during the final term.

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

The MSTP program is a joint MD and PhD program designed for students who want to become physician scientists. The curriculum offers students medical training with a strong background in research. There are 3 laboratory rotations required, and participants must choose a graduate program as a concentration, such as bioengineering, neuroscience, anthropology, or physics. Only 8-10 students are accepted annually, and participants receive full tuition support and a stipend during their course of study. Participants are also encouraged to work with UCSD's Student-Run Free Medical Clinic to gain hands-on experience treating patients. Each student's program is specialized, but most students complete this dual degree program within 8 years.

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health - Epidemiology

The Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UCSD's medical school and San Diego State University's Graduate School of Public Health offer a joint PhD program in public health with a concentration in epidemiology. Candidates take courses in disease and behavioral epidemiology, medical geography, and exercise science, and they conduct research at both universities. Specializations available include the study of infectious and chronic diseases, behavioral epidemiology, medical geography, and exercise science. A Master of Public Health program is also available.

School Statistics

After exploring its medical programs, get more details on the profiled school in the table below. It has info on student enrollment and tuition rates to help you make an informed education decision.

University of California - San Diego
School Type 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2012) 28,294*
Campus Setting Large city
Total Medical School Tuition & Fees (2013-2014) $150,481 (MD Program)**
$28,500 (MAS Program)**
$28,000 (CREST Program)**

Source: *NCES College Navigator, **University of California - San Diego

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