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Prospective Scholar

The SACM PRESTIGE (Program in Research: Elevating Standards in Graduate Education) Research Training Program is a one-year certificate based program to prepare International Medical Graduates (IMG) for medical residency applications and future success. This program based at UC Irvine Health Medical Center will combine structured faculty mentored medical education instruction through advanced studies in biomedical, translational, public health research along with clinical observerships and the latest medical education training modalities.

Scholar Specialties

Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Psychiatry and Neurology. Other specialty fields can be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Scholar Expectations

  • The foundation for your learning will be based on one to one research with a faculty mentor in your specialty by participating in one or more research projects at least 3 days a week.
  • You will have the opportunity for weekly clinical observership.
  • You will receive professional development in translational research concepts, point-of-care bedside ultrasound, simulation medical technology, and bedside clinical examination
  • You will have professional ERAS application review, personal statement review, interviewing techniques and introduction to the U.S. healthcare system to maximize the potential of IMGs for residency training or professional practice in the U.S. and globally.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is important (you can send TOFEL or IELTS scores if available)

Required For All Fellowships

  • One page personal statement
  • Your CV or resume
  • USMLE score reports. You will need to pass Step 1 on first try, and complete Step 2 CK prior to your anticipated PRESTIGE program start date.
  • SACM letter for admission
  • SACM ID number
  • Preferred PRESTIGE program start date
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Medical school transcripts, graduation and internship certificate in English
  • Photograph
  • Paragraph self-evaluation of English verbal fluency/writing skills.


Sponsorship is required to provide a guarantee for tuition and professional fees incurred as part of the International Fellowship Medical Program. Typical sponsorship letters are from SACM, university, local or national governments. These letters should be dated within six months, outline type of fellowship, duration and components of financial sponsorship.

J-1 Visa

The Scholar ‘J-1 Research’ visa is sponsored by UC Irvine.

Credentials Required

To apply to an International Fellowship Program, please email the following documents for review of your credentials to Ms. Melissa Pham at Also see the contact us page.

Fellowship Start

Applications are accepted throughout the year and the typical start times are March through July yearly. Start time is flexible to fit the trainee’s schedule and consistent with SACM guidelines.

Program Disclaimer

The PRESTIGE Research Training Program does not make any guarantee of any privilege of residency interview and/or residency position within any department at UC Irvine or elsewhere.

More Information

PRESTIGE Brochure (link to the PDF)


Shahram Lotfipour, MD MPH
Co-Director Co-Director
SACM PRESTIGE Research Program 

Bharath Chakravarthy, MD MPH
SACM PRESTIGE Research Program

Contact Us

For information on the PRESTIGE Research Training Program or our International Medical Fellowship programs, please contact:

Melissa Pham
Fellowship Coordinator
Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health School of Medicine
333 City Blvd West, Suite 640, Route 128-01
Orange, CA 92868 USA
Phone: 1-714-456-5922