California University of Science and Medicine (CUSM) today announced the conferral of degrees for 174 students, its largest class to date. More than 11O students received their Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree and 60 received their Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences (MBS). More than 40 percent of this year's MD graduates are from the Inland Empire of Southern California and were selected to join CUSM from an application pool of more than 6,300.


CUSM was founded in 2015 by Dr. Prem Reddy, one of the nation’s most visionary healthcare leaders and founder of Prime Healthcare, a health system with 44 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient locations in 14 states. The University was established through a private-public partnership with Arrowhead Regional Medical Center as its teaching hospital, Prime Healthcare Foundation, the County of San Bernardino, and the City of Colton.


CUSM now has 520 medical students, with more than 90 percent coming from California and highly qualified, having scored in the top 10 – 25% on the Medical College Admission Test (MCATs).


MD graduates will immediately transition to their residency programs. More than 33 percent of this year's MD graduates will perform residency within the Inland Empire focused on a variety of specialties including Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Psychiatry.


Studies have shown that a majority of physicians practice medicine within 75 miles of their residency programs, and the Inland Empire area of Southern California is particularly underserved when it comes to healthcare. In San Bernardino County, there are fewer than 40 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents, far below the benchmark of 60 to 80 doctors per 100,000.


"This year's graduating class embodies our mission to train compassionate health providers focused on health equity and community support," said Paul Lyons, MD, President and Dean of CUSM. "We're proud that so many of our students have chosen to stay in the Inland Empire and California. Through their studies and extensive community engagement, they have demonstrated that they are the kind of doctors we need in our communities."


The MD Commencement keynote address was delivered by Sanjiv Chopra, MD. Dr. Chopra is Professor of Medicine and served as Faculty Dean for Continuing Medical Education at Harvard Medical School for 12 years. He serves as Marshall Wolf Distinguished Clinician Educator Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Chopra shared a message of strength and hope, as well as enthusiasm for the graduates' commitment to science, health equity and serving those less fortunate.


Dr. Reddy, Founding Chair of the Board of Trustees, delivered an inspiring address reminding the graduates that medicine is not just a science, but also an art. "Medicine gives you a unique and sacred opportunity to be a part of another’s life – often in times of greatest need. As you embark on one of the most honorable professions, always remember the humanity at the core of medicine."


Dr. Kavitha Bhatia, Vice Chair of the Board of CUSM and President and Chair of Prime Healthcare Foundation, shared a meaningful message to graduating MDs about the impact they will have throughout their healthcare career, "You will always have the ability to make the most profound and meaningful impact - the unique and irreplaceable ability to give compassion, honesty, patience and understanding. These may be what your patients will need most from you. As you navigate the challenges to come, let your dreams be the anchor that keep you connected to your true calling."


This year's CUSM Commencement Ceremonies represent the third class of graduating MDs and the seventh class of MBS students. Approximately 50 percent of CUSM MBS students will continue into medical programs at CUSM and other institutions.


About California University of Science and Medicine

California University of Science and Medicine (CUSM) is dedicated to advancing the art and science of medicine through medical education, research, and compassionate healthcare delivery in an inclusive environment. The university provides medical education and community resources designed to inspire, motivate, and empower students to become excellent and caring physicians, scientists, and leaders. CUSM is a not-for-profit health sciences university established in 2015 through a private-public partnership with Arrowhead Regional Medical Center as its teaching hospital, the County of San Bernardino, the City of Colton, and Prime Healthcare Foundation.