Health Coach Program at UC Riverside

The Health Coach Program is a community-based collaborative aimed at reducing the number of patients with uncontrolled chronic conditions by training health coaches to support patient care by working with integral healthcare teams in a clinical setting. 

Our health coaches are pre-medical and pre-health students currently enrolled as juniors and seniors at an undergraduate institution or recent college graduates.

Through weekly follow ups and continuous communication with their patients’ health care team, health coaches: help patients build progressive goals, become true advocates for their patients, and establish a rapport that allows them to identify patient’s existing  barriers to healthier lifestyle habits.

The Health Coach Program, which began in 2013, is a partnership between the UCR School of Medicine and Riverside University Health System.

Health Coach Program Schedule

The Health Coach Program requires a minimum commitment of 260 volunteer hours through an academic calendar year. 

HC Academic Year Program (September - June)
A minimum of two 4- hour shifts per week required. 

Application Opens

February 1, 2022

Application Closes

Priority Deadline: March 17, 2022

Final Deadline: April 28, 2022

Selected Candidate Interviews

Those that are selected to interview for the Health Coach Program, will be notified directly and should expect a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) the week of May 16, 2022 that will be scheduled during approximately a 1.5 hour time-block.


Coaches have found their training and experiences have helped solidify their passion for medicine as well as improve their interpersonal and clinical skills.

Training sessions health coaches should expect, will include:

  • Chronic conditions and diseases (ex. prediabetes, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and obesity)
  • Nutrition 101
  • Goal Setting & Motivational Interviewing
  • Electronic Health Record Training (ex. EPIC)
  • HIPAA regulations

Please note: All health coaches will also be required to complete volunteer on-boarding requirements through Riverside University Health System before they can begin in-clinic training and shadowing. This onboarding process is usually completed between the months of May - August.


Applying for Health Coach Program

The Health Coach Program application is now CLOSED. The next application cycle will open on February 1, 2022.

For more information, please contact the Program Coordinator Jacklyn Loya, MPH at


Short Answer Essay Questions:

The application process requires you to answer short answer essay questions that assess your:  professionalism, communication and teamwork skills. It is recommended that you write your responses and save all essays on a separate word document before transferring responses into the application. Please note: questions 1-3 have a 1200 character limit, while question 4 has a 1500 character limit. 

These short answer essay questions are as follows:

Short Essay Response #1: Why do you want to become a Health Coach and how will participating in this program fit with your overall career goals?

Short Essay Response #2: What qualities/experiences do you have that you feel will allow you to improve the overall patient care experience as a health coach?

Short Essay Response #3: As a health coach you will be considered part of a healthcare team and will work alongside physicians, nurses, dietitians and other healthcare staff. Describe the experiences you have working in a collaborative environment where you maintained a professional relationship and good rapport with your colleagues?

Short Essay Response #4: Describe an experience when you used your active listening and your interpersonal communication skills to assist someone from a medically underserved community or someone that needed assistance navigating a healthcare system. Please be specific about your role and what you learned. (Please feel free to include any experience assisting someone in a healthcare setting. This can include a patient, group of patients or a family member.)