“We are extremely proud of our first class of graduates,” said Katherine Flores, MD, director of the UCSF Fresno Latino Center. “These students serve as our measure of how successful the Doctor’s Academy Program has been for helping disadvantaged youth in our community to gain support and direction to realize their educational dreams of entering the health care professions.”

One graduate, Janet Corona, is the first in her family to attend college. She will soon be heading off to UC Davis. Janet came from West Park Elementary, a small rural elementary school, and was given the opportunity to attend the Doctor’s Academy Program with encouragement from her teachers. After completing her undergraduate education, Janet plans to attend medical school and one day return to the Valley to become a pediatrician.

Entering California State University, Fresno, is Doctor’s Academy student, Richard Reynoso. The eldest of seven children and the first to enter college, Richard will be participating in the Health Careers Opportunity Program at CSU Fresno. After attending medical school, Richard hopes to return to Fresno as a pediatric cardiologist.

Cynthia Vuittonet also will be among the first class of Doctor’s Academy graduates. Cynthia has been admitted to Brown University's highly competitive Program in Liberal Medical Education, an eight-year program that combines both undergraduate and medical school education. Cynthia hopes to become a UCSF Fresno faculty member practicing at Community Medical Center’s Level One Burn and Trauma Unit in Fresno.

Graduation Event Details


Monday May 5, 2003


Sunnyside High School


1019 S. Peach Avenue (corner of Peach and Kings Canyon)


Performing Arts Theatre


6:00 - 8:00 pm


400 people -- Family members, friends and graduates along with Drs. Santiago Woods, Pete Mehas, Katherine Flores, Joan Voris, John Blossom, and Lois Colburn from the American Academy of Medical Colleges in Washington, DC


The UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education started the Sunnyside High School Doctor’s Academy Program in 1999 as a pilot program to encourage disadvantaged students to focus on a career in the health care professions. The program has grown in popularity and scope in the past four years. A Junior Doctor’s Academy Program also has been established to encourage students starting in junior high to enter the pipeline.

The Doctor’s Academy Program now includes 145 students. The UCSF Fresno Latino Center hopes to expand the program to include other Valley high schools.

For more information about the Doctor’s Academy graduation event, please contact Bertha Dominguez at 559.241.7670, or Cara Peracchi Douglas at 559.243.3606.