David Geffen School of Medicine at UC Los Angeles (UCLA) – School Profile and Medical Student Interviews

Medical Student Interviews:

Tim Ellis-Caleo, MS4


The UCLA Geffen School of Medicine is located in Los Angeles, California and is one of the regions top medical programs. The most recent class consisted of 175 matriculants and the medical school sports over 700 full-time students. In addition to the M.D. program, Geffen has MSTP (MD/PhD), MD/MBA, MD/MPH, and MD/MPP programs available for interested students. Additionally Geffen has PRIME-LA program through which students develop skills in leadership and advocacy in order to address healthcare disparities for the medically underserved in the Los Angeles area. Geffen also offers a Pre-Medical Enrichment Program to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds bolster their readiness for medical or dental careers. Affiliated medical center include the Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and the Harbor UCLA Medical Center.


The Geffen curriculum is currently undergoing a redesign. Currently, the curriculum is divided into three phases: Human Biology and Disease, Core Clinical Clerkships, and 4th Year Colleges. In years one and two, students focus on integrating basic science concepts into the pathogenesis of disease. Clinical skills are developed longitudinally during these pre-clinical years. Several particular topics are emphasized within the curriculum including cancer prevention and survivorship and Nutrition. The clinical years include required core clerkships as well as elective rotations.

Curriculum Highlights:

—Global Health Pathway: This pathway is designed for students interested in international practice settings and career options. The program prepares students to take positions in international research, clinical practice, government agencies, and philanthropic institutions. Students not only are able to network with faculty members practicing in global health settings, but they also receive certification for ‘Completion of the Global Health Pathway.’ Completion of the program requires a global health project or longitudinal field experience.

—Masters of Science in Clinical Research: This masters program was developed via a joint effort between the UCLA Department of Biomathematics and the School of Medicine. The program is designed to train healthcare professionals in the techniques and processes of patient-centered research. Students work through design and develop clinical research inquiries, compete for research funding, analyze and interpret data/findings, and present research in critical forums.

—UCLA CTSI Program: This is a summer research program that exposes medical students to a variety of projects and didactic seminars focused on healthcare disparities research. Students receive 8 weeks of mentorship as they gain experience in the fields of minority health and public health.


The Geffen School of Medicine is located in Westwood, on the western perimeter of Los Angeles. The medical school is directly adjacent to the undergraduate campus. The region is surrounded by lively cities including Santa Monica, Venice, and Los Angeles proper.  The campus is located less than 20 minutes from the coast line. The area is socioeconomically diverse, providing medical students a diversity of clinical exposure. Pockets of LA are known to be burgeoning hubs for the arts. There are numerous music, sports, and entertainment venues spread through the second-most populous city in the United States.

Grading Scheme:

1st and 2nd year: Pass/Fail, 3rd and4th year: Honors, High Pass, Pass, Fail, Incomplete

Most Recent Match List: