Our vision and mission are based on years of research

Founded in 1983 to advance the study and promotion of primary care, our organization has identified that the key to developing the primary care workforce is to start at the high school and college level. 

We target our efforts where the research demonstrates we can make the most difference: identifying and assisting undergraduate students that are most likely to practice in underserved communities.

We provide a variety of services, including the Student Doctor Network community forums, How-To guides, and the Premed Planner application.

From its humble beginnings in 1999, the Student Doctor Network community forums have grown to become the largest community for pre-health and health students across the US and Canada. We have helped hundreds of thousands of students in their quest to become doctors.

A look at how we’ve grown through the years:

  • JUL 1983
    Coastal Research Group, a 501(c)(3) California nonprofit educational organization was founded by a group of family medicine educators, physicians, residency program directors, and public policy leaders. The mission of the organization was to research and promote family medicine and primary health care access.
  • APR 1990
    The first Primary Health Care Access (PHCA) Conference was held in the American Club, Wisconsin.
  • DEC 1999
    The Student Doctor Network was founded in Seal Beach, California, with a goal of providing resources for the medical school application process via the internet.
  • APR 2002
    The Student Doctor Network merged with Coastal Research Group.
  • APR 2019
    Coastal Research Group held the 30th and final PHCA Conference in Kauai, Hawaii.
  • MAY 2020
    Coastal Research Group changed its name to “Health Professional Student Association” to better reflect its focus on increasing access to health care by helping students from underserved areas become health professionals.
  • DEC 2021
    Activity Finder was announced as Open Data for Good Grand Challenge winner in the Health and COVID-19 category.
  • APR 2022
    The inaugural Undergraduate Medical Accelerator Program was held at Tulsa Community College.
  • JUN 2022
    Treating Trans Patients, a free course to help aspiring and current healthcare providers, opened to enrollment.
  • Learn more about us

    Who We Serve

    We serve pre-health students, from current undergraduate students to nontraditional students.
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    Our History

    Founded in 1983 to advance the study and promotion of primary care, our vision and mission is based on years of research.
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    Our People

    Our team’s number one mission is to help all students achieve their goal of health professional school admissions.
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