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UCSF

ObGyn&RS

Medical Student Program

UCSF/Kaiser Permanente Undergraduate Research Internship (URI)

URI Program Update 2012

The URI interns have been very ambitious after finishing our program. Two of the students, Jacquelyn Hoffman and Amy Yu (WHURI-2), created a Women's Health class at UC Berkeley this past fall entitled "Issues in Reproductive Technology and Justice" which now continues each semester, influencing other undergraduate students at UCB, with many talks by our ob-gyn faculty members.

Abby Cortez, UCSF Undergraduate Research Internship scholar, year 2

Abby Cortez (WHURI-2, shown above) continues to work in Dr. Sindy Mellon's lab at UCSF during her final year at UC Berkeley while doing her honors thesis there. View PDF iconCortez's award winning poster here. Paula Yoffe (PURI-2) is doing her senior honors thesis at UCSF with Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist. Vanita Mistry, Tiffany Chambers, and Kao Thao (all URI-2s), were selected this spring as three of ten Fellows for the Minority Health - Global Health Fellowship at UC Berkeley for this summer of 2011: Tiffany and Kao will be going to Namibia (Africa) to research anthrax, and Vanita will be going to India to study the empowerment of women. Two of our interns have now been accepted to medical school and will start this fall: Jaspreet Singh (WHURI-2) and Veronica Gonzalez (WHURI-1).

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Program Background

In 2008, Patricia Robertson, MD (Professor and Endowed Chair for Obstetric and Gynecologic Education in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at UCSF), and Juan Guerra, MD (member of the Ob-Gyn UCSF Volunteer Clinical Faculty on staff at Kaiser Oakland and former Site Director for third year UCSF medical students there) decided to combine their efforts to increase the diversity of medical students interested in women's health by establishing the Women's Health Undergraduate Research Internship (WHURI) at UCSF. At the UC undergraduate level, a "leak in the pipeline" of ethnic minority students (associated with the large science classes) has been documented, which then decreases diversity in medical schools, residencies and ultimately faculty. This WHURI program is for University of California at Berkeley (UCB) undergraduate pre-med students interested in women's health.

Juan Guerra, MD, Patty Robertson, MD, Tracey Jones, MPA, founders and administrator of UCSF-Kaiser Undergraduate Research Internship
Juan Guerra, MD, Patty Robertson, MD
with Tracey Jones, MA – URI Program Administrator

The program started with 10 interns in women's health for the summer of 2009. During the past summer of 2010, the program expanded to 15 interns to also include pediatrics (PURI) and internal medicine (MURI). The goal of the overall program (URI) is to inspire diverse students interested in women's health, pediatrics and internal medicine with clinical shadowing at UCSF and Kaiser Oakland, didactics, and a meaningful research project. Student stipends ($2,500 each) and supplies are provided by funds from Dr. Robertson's Endowed Chair (funded by the Academy of Medical Educators and her department), Northern Kaiser Permanente, and philanthropy. The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF provides in-kind administrative support.