About the Future Physician Leaders Program
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.
The Leadership Lecture Series, the Community Health Project, and Mentorship Program take place during the summer when students are often home from college. Throughout the year students have opportunities to volunteer and participate in various health conferences, workshops, and community events.
The History of the Future Physician Leaders Program
The Future Physician Leaders (FPL) program is a community-based collaborative effort started in 2009 by Dr. Raul Ruiz while he worked as an emergency medicine physician at Eisenhower Medical Center.
While speaking to groups across the Coachella Valley about the regions' healthcare access crisis and the physician shortage, Ruiz found many students reaching out to him, expressing an interest in pursuing a career in medicine and addressing those underserved populations. As a first generation college student and the son of farm worker parents from the Coachella area, Ruiz understood the challenges faced by the students and sought to create a program that could support and guide these students into a career in medicine.
The foundation of the FPL mentorship program was built during a brainstorming session including Ruiz and 10 Coachella Valley students at a local coffee shop. The program has grown rapidly with more than 170 student participants and has been recognized as a UCR School of Medicine pathway program aimed at preparing Inland Southern California students to become physician leaders in the community.
Ruiz has since been elected as the congressman from the 36th district and is still involved in the program.