University of California, Riverside

School of Medicine



Mission and History


Mission and History

The School of Medicine Mission

The mission of the UCR School of Medicine is to improve the health of the people of California and, especially, to serve Inland Southern California by training a diverse workforce of physicians and by developing innovative research and health care delivery programs that will improve the health of the medically underserved in the region and become models to be emulated throughout the state and nation.

Our History

 UC Riverside’s history in medical education dates to 1974, when the UCR/UCLA Program in Biomedical Sciences was established. In 1997, the program was named for Dr. Thomas T. Haider, a Riverside spine surgeon and longtime supporter of the program. Through this program, approximately 700 students who began their medical education at UCR have received their M.D. degrees from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The Salma Haider Endowed Chair in Biomedical Sciences is held by Neal L. Schiller, Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

In 2003, then Chancellor France A. Córdova appointed a blue ribbon panel of renowned academics and education leaders to advise the campus in expanding medical education and health sciences research and to initiate the planning for a four-year medical school at UC Riverside. A year later, a group of deans chaired by former Washington University School of Medical School dean William Peck reviewed initial plans the medical school and provided recommendations to guide further planning.

In 2006, an external advisory board chaired by Haile Debas, M.D., former chancellor and dean emeritus of UC San Francisco, was appointed to craft a distinctive academic vision for the medical school and to guide UCR through the planning process. Forecasted healthcare access requirements and regional characteristics drove the development of the preliminary proposal to establish a medical school at UCR and began to give shape to a unique and innovative mission and vision for the UCR School of Medicine.

The campus submitted a preliminary proposal to Office of the President in May 2006. In November of that year, the preliminary proposal received the endorsement of the UC Board of Regents. A proposed curriculum for the medical school was drafted by the curriculum planning committee of faculty and clinical instructors, in consultation with leading administrators in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. A business plan and final medical school proposal was developed with the input of more than 80 faculty, staff, medical and community leaders, campus administrators and alumni, as well as a community advisory board. A Community Advisory Board was appointed to provide a non-institutional perspective in the planning and implementation of a new medical school.

In early 2008, the UCR Academic Senate unanimously supported both the curriculum and the medical school proposal, with the medical school proposal receiving the UC Board of Regents endorsement in summer 2008.

Dr. Phyllis Guze was named executive director of medical school planning in September 2007 and, in December 2008, was named acting vice chancellor for medical sciences and dean. Dr. Guze, charged by Chancellor Timothy White, initiated a national search for a founding dean for the medical school. In late 2009, Dr. G. Richard Olds, M.D., an internationally recognized tropical disease authority and former chair of the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, was appointed as the founding dean. He began his tenure on February 1, 2010, whereupon Dr. Guze was made associate vice chancellor, health affairs and senior executive dean. The UCR School of Medicine welcomed its inaugural class of students in August 2013.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

School Information

School of Medicine
2608 School of Medicine Education Building

Admissions Inquiries: (951) 827-4333
General Inquiries: (951) 827-4568
Fax: (951) 827-7688
E-mail: medschool@ucr.edu

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