Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund Donates $100,000 to UCSF Fresno

FRESNO – The Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund recently donated $100,000 to the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program for resident wellness. Resident wellness refers to the mental, emotional, social and physical health of medical residents.

Approximately one-third of medical residents suffer from depression, according to information presented in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The Goldman Fund gift will be used to enhance existing programs and provide new resources aimed at promoting the learning and overall well-being of residents and fellows training at UCSF Fresno. Physician wellness contributes to high quality patient care.

Residency training lasts anywhere from three to five years and is the time when medical school graduates practice medicine under direct supervision of faculty physicians before practicing on their own. Fellows are physicians who are completing advanced training beyond residency in a subspecialty. Fellowship training typically lasts one to three years.

 “Residents are vulnerable to various stressors during this critical period of learning when they are acquiring the knowledge and skills to become well-trained physicians in a highly demanding work environment,” said Lori Weichenthal, MD, assistant dean for Graduate Medical Education at UCSF Fresno. “They treat patients confronting serious illness, injury and death.

“Consequently, they may ignore their own health and well-being,” said Weichenthal. “We appreciate the generous gift from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund and we look forward to using it to help our residents take care of themselves at the same time they are caring for Valley community members.”

“As a result of my experiences as an emergency medicine resident in the UCSF Fresno program, I have a personal interest in resident wellness,” said Douglas E. Goldman, MD, president of the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund.  “I know the rigors and stressors involved with becoming a doctor.  I also recognize and appreciate the vital role UCSF Fresno plays in training highly qualified physicians to provide care in the medically underserved San Joaquin Valley.

“It is for these reasons that Lisa and I feel it is so important to give this gift. We hope it will help provide the support that residents need to ensure their own wellness as they serve others,” Goldman said.

A growing number of universities are implementing resident wellness programs. Weichenthal is leading the effort at UCSF Fresno. Recent activity includes the development of a Wellness Committee to promote a learning environment where physician wellness is a critical component.  This program can now be expanded to provide individual and confidential psychological counseling to help residents and fellows promote their own wellness. Other resources will also be made available such as nutritious food choices, meditation and recreational activities as well as providing social opportunities for  teambuilding and bonding.

The Goldman Fund donation will enable UCSF Fresno to offer regular mental health check-ups, referrals for individualized, confidential counseling, and teach residents critical life skills that promote a culture of wellness in their professional and personal lives.