Education, Training & Outreach

UCSF School of Medicine students celebrate commencement 2010

UCSF School of Medicine students celebrate commencement 2010 as UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann looks on at the ceremony in May 2010. More than half of them will likely practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a new economic impact report. Photo by Elisabeth Fall.

Educating and Training Future Leaders in the Bay Area and Beyond

At its core, UCSF remains an institution of higher learning, a place where the future leaders in life sciences and the health professions get their education and training. It serves as a magnet for the nation’s and the world’s top faculty, students, residents and postdoctoral scholars.

One of the major secondary economic impacts of UCSF is its role in enhancing the overall competitiveness of the San Francisco Bay Area by educating tomorrow’s leaders in life sciences and health care and policy, according to a new economic impact report.

Joseph Castro, vice provost, Student Academic Affairs

Joseph Castro, vice provost, Student Academic Affairs

“UCSF educates students who are poised to become the next generation of leaders,” says Joseph Castro, PhD, vice provost of Student Academic Affairs. “They represent the best in our society – women and men from diverse backgrounds who are dedicated to serving others by advancing health worldwide, including here in San Francisco.”

UCSF’s four major schools – dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy – consistently rank among the best in the country, in terms of both academic performance and the amount of National Institutes of Health research grant dollars. The largest school, the School of Medicine, ranks among the top 10 in seven of eight specialty programs, including first in AIDS medicine, second in women’s health and third in internal medicine.

Getting into UCSF is intensely difficult. The UCSF School of Pharmacy accepts 120 out of 1,250 applications. The UCSF School of Medicine accepts 150 out of 6,000 applications. Nineteen people apply for each one of the 80 slots in the UCSF School of Dentistry each year. But once the get into and graduate from UCSF, data suggest that students have a high propensity to remain in California, and especially the Bay Area. Specifically, 55 percent remain in the Bay Area and 75 percent remain in the state, according to the economic impact report.

“The students, residents and postdocs are all a key part of the intellectual capital that UCSF brings to this region,” says John Plotts, senior vice chancellor of finance and administration. “UCSF provides the types of jobs and the types of intellect that are vital to a thriving city.”

UCSF Students by School

  • Dentistry: 463
  • Medicine (including residents): 1,988
  • Nursing: 667
  • Pharmacy: 605
  • Graduate Division: 721

Total: 4,444

UCSF also extends its educational mission beyond its own campuses, through myriad student outreach activities and, most notably, through the Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP), in which UCSF brings scientists and materials into the K-12 schools of the San Francisco Unified School District.

SEP works in several arenas, providing more than 250 UCSF volunteers in classrooms, summer seminars for teachers, on-site science teams at elementary schools and high school internship programs. On a yearly basis, SEP works with about 90 percent of the 120 public schools in San Francisco and more than 300 teachers and their students.

And UCSF’s reach goes well beyond US borders through UCSF Global Health Sciences, which involves an innovative team of educators, researchers and health care professionals working around the world to train global health leaders and build sustainable solutions to improve health and eliminate disease. Global Health Sciences – the first to offer a master of science degree in global health – thrives with its vibrant and idealistic community of multinational and interdisciplinary scholars working together to improve health.

“We make sure we have the most talented faculty possible, to train the best and brightest students and trainees and make an impact in this world,” says Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH. “These young adults are so talented, so diverse, so smart and so dedicated to do great things for the world. They are filled with hope and optimism and tenacity.”