What is the Future Physician Leaders Program?

The Future Physician Leaders (FPL) program is a summer mentorship program for prospective healthcare students who also want to fulfill a mission of service to the community. The 9-week summer program is comprised of four components: the Leadership Lecture Series, Community Health Project, Program Symposium, and Mentorship Program. After successfully completing the summer program, participants are invited to numerous networking events throughout the year.  The community-based, collaborative program was started in 2009 by Dr. Raul Ruiz.

There are two program sites and meeting locations:

  • Coachella Valley - UCR Palm Desert Center*
  • Riverside/San Bernardino - CSU San Bernardino*

*The program is typically held in person at the respective locations. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Summer 2021 will be held entirely online until further notice*

The program is intended primarily for college and high school students living in the Inland Southern California region who are interested in serving their community and pursuing a career in medicine. Space in the program is limited and applicants must sign a social contract ensuring their complete participation. There is no application fee and participation is free. Participants may have to pay for some of their project materials depending on the topic; this a group effort and is based on the group project. 

There is no cost to apply or participate in the FPL Program. 

For more information please contact

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Program Overview

The FPL program is a life-long mentorship program that aims to support students through all stages of preparation including college, med school, residency, and beyond. It consists of the following components:

  • The Leadership Lecture Series, a series of educational opportunities that include lectures, workshops and group discussions that bring together students, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to foster mentoring relationships.
  • The Community Health Project, exposes students to community service and provides them the opportunity to actively work on improving healthcare access and community health. Past projects have included conducting health education on a particular topic at local community centers and churches, boys an girls clubs, etc. Past topics include diabetes management, nutrition, skin cancer awareness, air pollution, and much more.
  • The Physician Shadowing Program provides up to 20% of the program participants  the opportunity to get a first-person view of what it is like to be a doctor by shadowing a physician once a week for four hours over a six-week period. Participants must complete the Community Health Project and participate in the Leadership Lecture Series to be eligible for the physician shadowing. The program participants must be at least 18-years-old; priority is given to at least second-year undergraduate students. 
Important Dates

Application Opens:
February 2021

Application Deadlines:
Priority: April 7, 2021
Final: April 28, 2021

Notification of Acceptance:
All Sites will be notified early - May

Evening of May 18, 2021

Program Start Date:
June 14, 2021

Program End Date:
August 12, 2021

August 10 - 12, 2021