Medical Students with Valley Ties Get Set for Clinical Training at UCSF Fresno

FRESNO – The fifth class of medical students enrolled in the UC San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME) is getting ready for clinical training at UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program. The students will take part in orientation the week of April 24. The return to Fresno and the Valley is a homecoming for the students. The group includes:

  • Monique Atwal, from Selma and a graduate of the UCSF Fresno Sunnyside High
    School Doctors Academy
  • Kenneth Job from Fresno and a graduate of Buchanan High School
  • Neetu Malhi from Fresno and a graduate of Central High School East Campus
  • Stephanie Melchor from Visalia and a graduate of El Diamante High School
  • Enid Picart from Modesto, a graduate of Johansen High School and UC Merced

The week‐long orientation for the SJV PRIME students will include meetings with program directors, instruction on how to use electronic medical records software, tours of clinical sites, team building exercises, lectures and clinical training in the simulation lab.

“I am so excited to be back home and to give back to the community that raised me,” said Atwal. “I hope to work in the Valley and implement more rural and satellite clinics or utilize telemedicine to reach more remote locations on a regular basis.

“I hope to continue to be involved with the Doctors Academy as well and be a mentor for students when I am practicing,” she added.

SJV PRIME is a collaboration among the UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Merced, UCSF School of Medicine and UCSF Fresno to train medical students ‐ future physicians ‐ to be excellent clinicians and patient advocates, especially for underserved populations in the Valley.

SJV PRIME started in 2011 and has been successful at attracting students from the region who want to care for diverse and underserved communities. The program has graduated two classes for a total of eight students who are currently training in residency programs.

“There are approximately 30 students in the SJV PRIME now, with over three‐quarters coming from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine” said Kenny Banh, MD, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and Student Services at UCSF Fresno. “The majority come from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds in the Central Valley.”

“Where doctors complete their training and where they call home are two important predictors of where they will practice,” Dr. Banh said. “We look forward to welcoming these students now and our hope is that they stay in the Valley.”

More than 300 medical students, including students from UCSF and UC Davis schools of medicine and other medical schools, train at UCSF Fresno on a rotating basis each year. UCSF Fresno can accommodate about 50 students at any given time. Students may participate in rotations ranging in length from two weeks to two months in all areas of medical education and located at various training sites in and around Fresno.