California is home to over 700 colleges and universities, of which nearly half are for-profit institutions. As shown here, it is also the first state to have a for-profit medical school that awards an M.D. degree. Statewide, only 12 California universities have medical schools offering Doctor of Medicine programs. Half of these schools are public and half are private. A few of the schools rank among the best medical schools in the United States.

Medical students can expect to spend four years earning their M.D. followed by another three or more years of residency before being able to practice independently as a physician.

California Northstate University College of Medicine

Opened in 2015, the California Northstate University College of Medicine is the United State’s first for-profit medical school to offer a Doctor of Medicine degree. One of the college’s stated goals is to address the shortage of physicians in Northern California. The university offers a rather traditional approach to medical study, with two years of study in the classroom followed by two years centered on clinical rotations at area hospitals and other healthcare providers.

The university has affiliations with Dignity Health System and Kaiser Permanente of Northern California to support clinical experiences. Affiliated hospitals include Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Heritage Oaks Hospital, Kaiser Permanente Hospital, and Methodist Hospital of Sacramento.

California University of Science and Medicine

California’s youngest medical school, the California University of Science and Medicine enrolled its first class of 64 in 2018, and the school is planning for a maximum total enrollment of 480. Located in San Bernardino, the school has received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Construction of the campus is planned for completion in 2020.

CUSM works in collaboration with the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for research and clinical experiences. ARMC is located in Colton, California, about five miles from campus.

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Founded in 1966, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is a historically black medical university dedicated to providing services to underserved communities in South Los Angeles and beyond. The school ran into problems in 2009 when it was placed on probation for failing to meet accrediting standards. These issues were resolved in 2011.

The College of Medicine has affiliations with institutions including Kedren Community Health Center, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. The school has graduated 575 physicians in its five decades of operation.

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