Peters Foundation Gifts $50,000 to UCSF Fresno to Support Physician Wellness and Training

FRESNO – The Leon S. Peters Foundation recently gifted $50,000 to the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program to support the UCSF Fresno Resident Council, the new resident clinical skills boot camp and physician wellness. The Resident Council is a committee comprised of medical residents and fellows who are selected by their peers to provide a united and active voice for all residents and fellows at UCSF Fresno. The Resident Council’s goals are to give residents and fellows a voice in their education, to foster camaraderie and promote resident learning and wellness.

Residents are medical school graduates who are training under senior faculty physicians prior to practicing on their own. Fellows are physicians who are completing advanced training beyond residency in a subspecialty.

Physician wellness is an important issue that is gaining attention. According to a New England Journal of Medicine survey of health care leaders and clinicians, 96 percent of respondents reported that physician burnout is a pressing problem. A recent survey of 14,000 physicians representing over 30 specialties revealed that physician burnout has increased by 25 percent in the past four years, according to Medscape’s 2017 Lifestyle Report.

“Training to become a physician is incredibly rewarding,” said Michael W. Peterson, MD, associate dean at UCSF Fresno. “At the same time, it can be a very stressful experience.

“We are grateful to the Leon S. Peters Foundation for their generous support of UCSF Fresno and our physicians-in-training. Thanks to our partners and donors like the Peters Foundation, UCSF Fresno is able to grow, adapt and foster an environment that meets the ever-changing needs of medical education and health care delivery while promoting personal-professional balance.”

“We are pleased to support UCSF Fresno and its Resident Council,” said Kenneth Peters, president  of the Leon S. Peters Foundation. “The more we have learned about UCSF’s regional campus in Fresno, we realize how vital it is to our community.

“Physicians who are trained here are more likely to stay here, which is hugely important since we desperately need more doctors in the Valley.”

The Peters Foundation gift also provides funding for all incoming residents to take part in a clinical skills boot camp prior to beginning their three to five years of training at UCSF Fresno. Under the direction of experienced faculty at UCSF Fresno, incoming residents practice patient care skills on state-of-the art simulation equipment, including adult and pediatric simulation mannequins. Residents also train in suturing skills and communications scenarios with physicians, patients and nurses.

“The unique boot camp experience boosts the confidence of new physicians and fine tunes the capabilities and skills required of them,” said Lori Weichenthal, MD, assistant dean for Graduate Medical Education at UCSF Fresno. “The Resident Council provides a strong environment of wellness, a sense of belonging for residents and fellows and enables them to give back to the community, which are cornerstones of the Peters Foundation and UCSF Fresno.”