Healing the Divide — the UCR School of Medicine

Uploaded by ucriverside on 20.03.2012

The Inland Empire is home to more than four million people,
the thirteenth most populous metropolitan area in the United States,
and the third largest in California.
Not only is the area one of the most populous, it is also one of the fastest
growing regions in the United States,
increasing by almost thirty percent in the last decade.
Like all areas of its size, the Inland Empire shares many of the usual
big-city issues:
transportation, economic development, and education.
But sadly,
the Inland Empire suffers from one problem that does not affect her equally
sized sisters.
We in Inland Southern California
have less than half the primary care doctors we need.
In some areas of the Coachella Valley, for instance, there's only one primary care
doctor for nine thousand patients. When you get to that degree of shortage,
they are no longer doing primary care, they're just doing urgent care.
And that's one of the reasons why Inland Southern California
is in the bottom quartile of every measurable health outcome in the state.
How many providers do we have today?
Fred Deharo sees the problems caused by this shortage daily
at the Desert Hot Springs Community Health Center.
If you take this community of approximately
thirty to thirty-five thousand residents,
we have one and a half physicians
providing services for the community.
So you're looking at about eighteen thousand
residents to each physician.
Numbers like these put tremendous pressure on clinics like this one.
In Coachella,
Dr. Randolph Gibbs is one such provider.
We're still in need, you know, we need people to commit, to come on out and
get involved.
At Kids Come First in Ontario,
they see children who have no primary care doctor.
Good morning. How are we doing today? Beverly Speak is the executive director of Kids Come First.
A lot of the children that come to us have come
because otherwise they would have had to go to an emergency room
and wait many many hours. They don't have a primary care giver, they don't have a
family doctor, they don't have somebody that they can trust
to ask questions.
It gets worse.
The shortage will become even more critical as new people enter the system
under the new
federal health care reform law.
Bradley Gilbert is the CEO of the Inland Empire Health Plan.
He believes the impact of the health care reform law will be substantial.
It's going to have a really huge impact.
You've got approximately two hundred thousand people that are going to get coverage through
Medicaid, or medical as it's called in California. You've got another three hundred
thousand who will be eligible for coverage under what's called the health exchange.
so you're talking about five hundred thousand people who are currently not covered, have
no insurance,
having access to
healthcare coverage, and therefore access to physicians, hospitals, etc.
So you look at five hundred thousand new people
potentially suddenly having access to physicians,
if you don't have enough now and you add five hundred thousand people it's going to make things difficult
in terms of access for appointments, doctors ability to spend
the time they need and care for the patience that they currently have.
I'm on my way to go visit a member and according to our records her
children are due for well child visits.
Delia Orosco works with an innovative program designed to help
people access healthcare in Victorville.
She actually travels to patients' homes to help them navigate the medical system.
Innovative programs like health navigators can help,
but there's only so much that can be done if there are just
not enough doctors.
According to Dr. G. Richard Olds, the answer is a new medical school
at the University of California, Riverside.
But not just any medical school.
Just having a medical school is not enough.
We need doctors to go into the fields of medicine that we need in this area,
and we need them to stay and practice in this area. So what we're doing here
at UCR is actually building a pipeline
that includes a medical school.
We are
drawing as many highly qualified students as we came from our own geographic
and because this geographic area has the lowest college going rate,
the lowest standardized test scores, etc. that's a challenge in and of itself.
We're then going to recruit them into our medical school with a somewhat different
And just what is this somewhat different orientation?
We have a somewhat different approach. We're not building our own university
hospital. In fact,
what we're doing is we're
partnering with the existing health care facilities, the existing doctors, the
existing federally qualified health care centers,
to get them all working together
to educate the next generation of physicians.
Dr. Olds believes that UCR is uniquely qualified for this mission
because of what,
and who, it is.
Of all the Universities of California,
for which there is ten,
this is the school
that has the highest number of students
that are first in their
families to go to college.
This is
the UC that has the greatest diversity of its students, it's the sixth
most diverse undergraduate campus in the
United States, and this is the UC
that enjoys the best town-gown relationship. We are the UC for Inland Southern
Californian and we're strongly supported
by our communities.
Dr olds' enthusiasm is so infectious
that people from across the country have joined his staff
to share his vision.
When you
see traditional medicine,
you don't have many opportunities to change
the curricula. You don't have many opportunities to change
the way
medicine is delivered.
With this new school and with this mission,
the sky is the limit as to what you can do with the
way that you train students and the way that you teach students. You can have a
huge impact on the
As construction continues, and ideas and methods solidify,
economic concerns are paramount,
and not just for the medical school. So if we can even capture a fraction
of the current health care
activities that are leaving our region,
we'll have a huge economic bone in this area.
Plus research shows that business follows doctors,
So for each new doctor who stays in the area,
a new one million dollar small business will be added to the Inland
Everyone wins.
If we don't act now,
access to health care will get even worse for the residents of the Inland Empire.
Now is the time to open this medical school.
The vast majority of the money that we are currently raising to open this med
school comes from our own communities,
and I think that that's a
of how strong
our communities not only want a med school, but want this med school.