UCSF Fresno Launches Two New Training Programs

Programs include Hematology/Oncology Fellowship and Physician Assistant Emergency Medicine Residency

By Brandy Ramos Nikaido

UCSF Fresno recently launched two new training programs. The UCSF Fresno Hematology/Oncology Fellowship is an internal medicine program that launched in July with two fellows. The UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant (PA) Residency Program started in August with two residents joining the program this year.

Residency training prepares recently graduated Doctors of Medicine (MD) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) to become specialists, including pediatricians and family practitioners among others, in approximately three to five years. Fellowships offer specific training beyond residency in an area of expertise. Fellowships generally last one to two years.

The UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine PA Residency Program is one of only two such programs in the state. The UCSF Fresno program is the first PA residency program in the University of California system and the only state-approved program.

“With one of four deaths in California due to cancer, the new Hematology/Oncology Fellowship will enhance cancer care in the region and further reduce the necessity for Valley patients to travel outside of the region for sub-specialty care,” said Michael W. Peterson, MD, associate dean at UCSF Fresno.

“In addition, today there is an increased emphasis being placed on team-based, comprehensive and coordinated care involving numerous health care providers, including physician assistants,” added Peterson. “This approach to care is aimed at achieving the best health outcomes for patients. It is only natural that UCSF Fresno broaden its training programs to include these allied health professionals.”

The UCSF Fresno Hematology/Oncology Fellowship is a three-year program headed up by Uzair B. Chaudhary, MD, chief of Hematology/Oncology at UCSF Fresno. Hematology is the study of blood. Oncology is the study of cancer. A hematologist-oncologist is a physician who specializes in the treatment of blood diseases and cancers. Training takes place primarily at Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) and The VA Central California Health Care System with a bone marrow transplant rotation at UCSF.

The program’s fellows include Greg Gilmore, DO, and Mohamad Barakat, MD.

“The goal of the program is to equip physicians with the professional, attitudinal, cognitive and technical skills necessary to provide patients with kind and compassionate care,” said Chaudhary.

The UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine PA Residency Program is 18 months. Training takes place primarily at CRMC and includes rotations in emergency medicine; pediatric emergency medicine; trauma; specialty clinics such as dermatology, orthopaedics, oral & maxillofacial surgery or ophthalmology; surgical critical care; medical critical care; burn; toxicology; anesthesia/emergency ultrasound and emergency medical services.

The goal of the program is to increase the emergency medicine PA workforce in California, especially in the underserved Central Valley.

“With the changes in health care, we are seeing increased utilization of physician assistants to augment the workforce,” said Fred Wu, PA-C, MHS, program director of the Emergency Medicine PA Residency. “Offering specialized training through a residency program provides PAs with the opportunity to focus on an area of interest, gain valuable additional training and clinical experience, and improve career prospects and marketability.”

The first UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine PA residents include John Ramos, PA-C and Jannifer Matos, PA-C.

The addition of these programs brings the number of fellowships at UCSF Fresno to 17 and the number of residency programs to 10. Residency programs include eight medical programs, one dental residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery as well as the Emergency Medicine PA Residency.

About UCSF Fresno

UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program, established in 1975, plays a substantial role in providing health care to residents of California’s San Joaquin Valley and training medical professionals in the region. UCSF Fresno is the San Joaquin Valley’s largest physician training program. Annually, UCSF Fresno currently trains approximately 250 medical residents (medical school graduates who are training under senior faculty physicians prior to practicing on their own) in eight specialties, 10 oral and maxillofacial surgery dental residents, 50 medical fellows (physicians who are completing training beyond residency) in 17 subspecialties, approximately 350 medical students (students in the process of earning medical degrees) on a rotating basis and two physician assistants in an emergency medicine residency program. More than 40 percent of the physicians trained by UCSF Fresno stay in the region to provide UCSF care in the Central Valley. Thanks to the expertise of faculty physicians at UCSF Fresno, in many cases, travel outside of the region is no longer necessary for patients seeking specialty medical care. UCSF Fresno faculty and medical residents engage in a broad spectrum of research addressing health issues pertinent to the Valley. UCSF Fresno faculty and residents also care for the overwhelming majority of the region’s underserved populations. In addition, UCSF Fresno helps prepare middle, high school and college students for careers in health and medicine through a variety of pipeline programs.  Please visit www.fresno.ucsf.edu

About UCSF

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to transforming health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. Founded in 1864 as a medical college, UCSF now includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with world-renowned programs in the biological sciences, a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and top-tier hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals.