History of the University

Background and Mission

Healthcare in the United States faces significant challenges, including growing burdens of disease, lack of access to healthcare, and a shortage of healthcare professionals. These issues disproportionally affect underserved areas such as the Inland Empire, the name given to the combined populations of San Bernardino and Riverside counties in southern California. The Inland Empire exhibits significant health disparities when compared to California averages and national benchmarks, including a higher incidence of diabetes-related death, coronary heart disease, and chronic liver disease, as well as serious psychological distress. This higher rate of disease incidence, however, has not correlated to a higher number of physicians in the area, as the Inland Empire ranks in the lower half of counties in California in the number of physicians per capita.

To help overcome these challenges, Prem Reddy, MD, established California University of Science and Medicine (CUSM), emphasizing its community-oriented mission and vision. After decades of providing support to educational and healthcare initiatives locally, nationally, and globally, Dr. Reddy founded CUSM to inspire, motivate, and empower students to become excellent and caring physicians and leaders. Dr. Reddy, founder of Prime Healthcare Services, Inc. (“PHSI”) and Prime Healthcare Foundation, Inc. (“PHF”), believed that the establishment of a medical school could provide a great positive impact on healthcare, presently and for future generations, by addressing growing health disparities, disease burden, and the regional physician shortage. PHF has provided $70 million towards the establishment of CUSM. The Dr. Prem Reddy Family Foundation has committed $20 million towards the establishment of CUSM.

Timeline and History

In August 2012, under the initial name “Eastern California College of Medicine,” Dr. Reddy and other leaders defined the mission and vision of the institution to develop and operate a school of medicine to educate future physicians and medical support personnel, as well as conduct medical research in furtherance of the science and art of medicine. In May 2013, the institution was renamed California University of Science and Medicine.

CUSM began operations in the spring of 2015 when Robert Suskind, MD, joined as the School of Medicine’s Founding Dean. Dr. Suskind, who has since retired and currently serves as Dean Emeritus, directed the recruitment of the initial group of faculty and support staff of CUSM. Under the leadership of Dr. Alfred Tenore, the School of Medicine’s Senior Associate Dean of Medical Education from April 2015 to May 2019, the faculty developed an innovative curriculum for the School of Medicine’s MD degree program, as well as standards and policies for admitting students, hiring faculty, and program evaluation. In 2019, the Board of Trustees appointed Paul Lyons, MD, as Dean and President of CUSM.

In 2017, CUSM developed its first graduate degree program, the Master’s in Biomedical Sciences program (MBS). The primary goal of the program is to better prepare students for a career in medicine or other healthcare professions, by enhancing students’ academic qualifications to gain acceptance into advanced healthcare educational programs. In April 2017, CUSM expanded its WASC Senior College and University Commission (“WSCUC”) eligibility to include the MBS program.

Inaugural Classes

CUSM welcomed 36 MBS program students in the summer of 2018. In 2019, the first MBS class graduated in a ceremony held at The Claremont Colleges’ Bridges Auditorium. Approximately 40 percent of the first class of MBS graduates were accepted into the CUSM MD program. They are part of the second MD cohort and will graduate and progress to residency in 2023.

The first cohort of MD program students started in July 2018 and graduated in 2022. The commencement ceremony took place at the CUSM campus, completed in 2020. The inaugural class of MDs have moved into residency positions across the United States, many within California.

Looking Ahead

After nearly two years of remote operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university returned to in-person education in 2021. For the 22-23 academic year, CUSM has welcomed full cohorts of 130 new MD students and 60 MBS students. CUSM continues to innovate and grow in accordance with our mission to advance the art and science of medicine through innovative medical education, research, and compassionate healthcare delivery in an inclusive environment that advocates critical thinking, creativity, integrity, and professionalism.

Dr. Prem Reddy

Prem Reddy, MD
Chairman of the Board

Dr. Robert Suskind

Robert Suskind, MD
Dean Emeritus