UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program
, which commemorates its 30th anniversary this year, recently celebrated the grand opening of its new Center for Medical Education and Research with a series of activities.
Recognizing the critical role UCSF Fresno plays in providing health care to San Joaquin Valley residents and training health care professionals in the region, US Surgeon General Richard Carmona, a graduate of UCSF School of Medicine, was the keynote speaker at a gala on April 22.
"Everyplace I go, I talk about UCSF," Carmona said. "I'm here today because I stand on the shoulders of giants who came before me. And I'm here today because the admissions committee took a chance and let in a Latino high school dropout and gave me a chance to become a doctor."
Carmona says he hopes UCSF Fresno's academy for high school students also will attract disadvantaged students from diverse backgrounds into health professions. "We look for a commitment like this for a diversified work force. It's impossible if we don't have programs like this to attract Latino children into science classes."
The opening of the UCSF Fresno center represents a new era for medical education and the delivery of health care in the valley. The center, which features the latest in instructional methods and technologies, including a digital medical library, clinical skills lab and virtual classrooms, will play a pivotal role in the recruitment and retention of quality physicians in the region.
|The opening of the Center for Medical Education and Research in Fresno represents a major milestone in the 30-year-old UCSF program.
"The UCSF Fresno Medical Education building is a model for educational facilities of the future," said David Irby, vice dean for education in the UCSF School of Medicine. "Not only is it beautiful, but it is functional as well. The facility contains a state-of-the-art clinical skills and simulation center plus wonderful classrooms. I wish that we had comparable educational facilities for our students in San Francisco."
The new facility will serve as the hub of UCSF Fresno's medical education activities. In fact, the building's designer modeled the front entrance to represent an open book. The center will house together both the administrative and the educational components of the program for the first time in UCSF Fresno's 30-year history.
"The communities around us here in the Central Valley have had - for too long a time - unmet health care needs," said David Kessler, dean of UCSF School of Medicine and vice chancellor of medical affairs. "When UCSF began the Fresno Medical Education Program, it was an attempt to address some of the region's chronic problems: A shortage of physicians willing to practice in smaller towns and cities, the special needs of rural health services and limited access to continuing professional education. Now, 30 years after the program was started, we have much to be proud of."
UCSF Fresno has trained one-third of valley physicians currently practicing in one of the seven specialties in which UCSF Fresno provides training. Since its inception in 1974, UCSF Fresno has graduated approximately 60 physicians every year, totaling more than 2,000 to date. UCSF Fresno faculty and medical residents also care for the overwhelming majority of the area's underserved populations. In addition, UCSF Fresno educates about 200 medical students each year, as well as providing academic preparation programs for middle- and high-school students interested in the health professions.
"The program here has grown a lot in 30 years, but there's much more to come in the years ahead," Kessler said. "The UCSF Fresno Medical Education and Research Center represents a commitment by the State of California and the University to medical education and research in the Central Valley. This building is a commitment to improving health care for all Californians."
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., who was one of the key advocates to secure funding for the UCSF Fresno center when he served in the state Assembly, praised the new building as a centerpiece for health care and higher education.
"As UCSF School of Medicine celebrates it 30th anniversary in the Valley, the program deserves congratulations for providing much needed medical services to our area. With 175 medical residents trained each year in the program, over 50 percent of these residents remain in the Greater San Joaquin Valley to set up their practices. The Medical Education Program offers a unique community development experience. Medical students can train with some of the best and brightest doctors, at the same time deliver services to community members that may not have been previously accessible," said Costa.
Source: Lisa Cisneros
and Brandy Nikaido
Photo by UCSF Fresno EGAD
UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program