students in sim labs

Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience (LACE)


LACE Curriculum

The Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience (LACE) is a unique part of the undergraduate medical education curriculum at the UCR School of Medicine. The program bridges the gap between classroom learning and clinical application by providing first-, second-, and third-year students with hands-on clinical experiences with community-based primary care physicians throughout Inland Southern California.

In addition to introducing students to the diverse patient populations that reflect today’s health care delivery system, the program creates sustained mentor-mentee relationships between students and primary care providers in the region. LACE takes advantage of partnerships with a variety of practice groups, community clinics (including federally qualified health centers), and hospitals.

The LACE program includes the three-year longitudinal primary care experience and integrated threads in public health and social medicine, clinical reasoning, and health systems science research projects.

Read the School of Medicine News article on LACE.


For more information about LACE, contact:

Moazzum Bajwa, MD
LACE Co-Director

E. Caroline McGowan, MD
LACE Co-Director

Patricia Walker
LACE Associate Director

Karina Ruiz, MA
LACE Program Coordinator

An Active, Ongoing Clinical Experience

The LACE program replaces the traditional “shadowing” preceptorship with a program that emphasizes continuity and progressive learning across a three-year span.

Medical students interact with attending physicians, peers and other health professionals, they have the opportunity to participate in continuity of care and observe longer-term outcomes associated with the health care decisions they make. This gives medical students an experiential advantage compared to students in short-block rotations where follow-up can be limited.

Through these interactions, students integrate their acquired knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, etc. as they work directly with patients. They develop skills and knowledge related to patient history-taking, physical exams, presentation, doctor-patient interaction and communication to improve a variety of core clinical competencies.

Participating outpatient practices are primary care-focused and selected for their suitability to expose students to the ambulatory delivery of care within the Inland Empire community.

LACE Classroom

Educational Goals and Outcomes

The objectives of LACE include our educational program objectives that are required for graduation:

  • Patient Care
  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-Based Practice
  • Interprofessional Collaboration
  • Personal and Professional Development

Dedicated physician preceptors at each LACE site guide students in their development as future physicians by providing formative feedback on their clinical skills and performance. Students will also complete an original research project over the three-year LACE program to improve the quality and equity of health care in Inland Southern California. Each student will attend and present this work at the annual Dean's Research Day.