UCSF Fresno Celebrates Match Day and Incoming Residents

March 17, 2023 

Media Contact: Brandy Ramos Nikaido, Cell (559) 313-6539 
[email protected]  

First Class of Medical Students in UCSF SJV PRIME Participates in Match 

FRESNO –The UCSF School of Medicine regional campus in Fresno celebrated today (March 17) as the identities were revealed of 73 medical residents (interns) and four oral and maxillofacial surgery residents who will start residency training this summer at UCSF Fresno. This year’s Match Day also marked an important milestone by including the first cohort of students in the UCSF San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME).   

Match Day, which takes place every year in mid-March, is the time when graduating medical students learn where they will spend the next several years conducting clinical training under faculty supervision, known as their medical residency. Residency training is required prior to practicing medicine independently in the United States. 

“Match Day is an important milestone on the path to becoming a physician and is a joyous occasion,” said Stacy Sawtelle Vohra, MD, interim Designated Institutional Official and Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director at UCSF Fresno. “An influx of physicians to care for patients in a region with a well-documented shortage of doctors is always a cause for celebration. It is especially exciting that the first group of UCSF SJV PRIME students participated in the Match. We congratulate them and look forward to welcoming all of our interns this summer.” 

The first cohort of six medical students entered the then brand-new UCSF SJV PRIME in 2019 and today, they celebrated Match Day along with one UC Davis SJV PRIME student. Three of the graduating students are staying at UCSF Fresno for residency and one is headed to UCSF School of Medicine.  

Graduating medical students typically register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) as part of the Match Day process. The NRMP utilizes a mathematical algorithm to place applicants into residency and fellowship positions. Medical school graduates then begin residency training at the hospital or program where they “matched” as interns. A similar “match” occurs for physicians entering advanced sub-specialty fellowship training each year in December. 

The UCSF Fresno residency programs that participated in the NRMP match received 8,041 applications and conducted 998 interviews for 73 positions. UCSF Fresno fellowship programs that took part in the October/December NRMP match received 1,885 applications and conducted 220 interviews for 20 positions. Non-NRMP programs filled available positions through another matching service or through interviews and offers. The UCSF Fresno Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program received 147 applications and conducted 20 interviews for 4 available spots. 

UCSF Fresno currently offers residency training in eight medical specialties, one oral and maxillofacial surgery dental residency, fellowship training in 20 medical sub-specialties, one dental sub-specialty as well as two residency programs for physician assistants. 

Training Physicians in the Valley for the Valley 

SJV PRIME started in 2011 in partnership with UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Merced, UCSF, and UCSF Fresno. This is the first group of SJV PRIME students to spend most of their training at UCSF Fresno and the first SJV PRIME students to receive medical degrees from the UCSF School of Medicine, noted Kenny Banh, MD, assistant dean for Undergraduate Medical Education at UCSF Fresno.  

“We applaud all of the SJV PRIME graduating students and are excited that three of them are staying at UCSF Fresno and one is going to UCSF for residency,” said Dr. Banh. “SJV PRIME students spend the majority of their training in the region. The more time they spend here – learning and caring for the community – the more likely they are to stay to practice.”    

The San Joaquin Valley and Inland Empire have the lowest physician to patient ratios in the state, according to many reports including California Physicians: A Portrait of Practice by the California Health Care Foundation.  

“The aim of SJV PRIME is to increase the Valley’s physician workforce by taking students from the Valley, training them here, and encouraging residency training in the region with the hope they will stay to practice,” said Loren Alving, MD, director of the UCSF SJV PRIME. “We are very proud of our students and pleased that they are staying in California and the region.” 

Statistics show that physicians tend to practice near where they completed training or where they grew up, which is a rationale for SJV PRIME. Graduating SJV PRIME students in 2023 echo the desire to serve underserved communities and provide care where it is needed most. 

What SJV PRIME Students Are Saying  

Amitoj Singh of Fresno, UCSF SJV PRIME Class of 2023, matched with UCSF Fresno Psychiatry Residency Program

“My outlook has not changed since I started SJV PRIME in 2019. During my time in medical school and SJV PRIME, I learned just how severe the physician shortage is in the Valley and how great the need for care here is. My specific interest is in serving the mental health needs of the community here. Unfortunately, patients must wait months before seeing a psychiatrist in the Valley and often end up presenting to the emergency department due to an exacerbation of their symptoms. I hope to take part in addressing this issue and bettering the mental health of the community that helped shape the individual I am today. SJV PRIME has allowed me to make a difference in the Valley early on in my medical education, and I hope to continue that not only in residency but throughout my career as a physician.” 

Marcus Cummins of Fresno/Clovis, UCSF SJV PRIME Class of 2023, matched with UCSF Fresno Medicine Residency Program  

“The shortage of physicians has an impact on patient outcomes that is as bad, if not worse, than I anticipated before I entered medical school. Even when patients are connected with care, at times, they wait nearly one year to visit specialists. By this time, they are likely to experience consequences related to their untreated disease process. Our patients need the SJV PRIME program to continue to train future Valley doctors to fill these gaps. I love this city and people. The need for physicians and health care providers is tremendous. The growth of the SJV PRIME program and development of the SJV PRIME+ program is encouraging. After my training, I hope to remain at UCSF Fresno and stay involved with SJV PRIME.”

Jackie A. Leon of Fresno, UC Davis SJV PRIME Class of 2023, matched with UCSF School of Medicine Psychiatry Residency Program   

“My personal mission to serve underserved communities has not changed since I started medical school. My strong commitment to serving underserved communities stems from my longstanding work history as a public health practitioner doing both front line and administrative roles. I wanted to be a physician who displays cultural humility for patients from all walks of life and advocate for system level changes based on what I saw day to day as a health care provider. Thus, it was important for me to matriculate into medical school with a purposeful vision to train in spaces in which I was brought up in and to keep my commitment to becoming a physician champion for social justice close by. For me that was enrolling in the SJV PRIME program. Today, I aspire to be a community and bicultural and bilingual psychiatrist.” 

SJV PRIME Background: The San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME) was established as the sixth of eight programs in the University of California’s programs in medical education. SJV PRIME prepares medical students to be excellent clinicians, patient advocates and physician leaders for under resourced communities, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. The training program is designed to prepare medical students to address the unique health needs of the region’s diverse populations. It was established in 2010 as a partnership among UC Merced, UCSF Fresno, the UCSF School of Medicine with the UC Davis School of Medicine serving as the degree-granting institution. The first class of students started in 2011. 

In 2018, the UCSF School of Medicine became the degree-granting institution and paved the way for students enrolled in the program to spend the bulk of their training at UCSF Fresno and other clinical locations in the Valley, including research and community engagement in partnership with UC Merced. The first cohort of students in the new UCSF SJV PRIME started in 2019. These inaugural students are graduating in 2023.  


About UCSF Fresno: UCSF Fresno is a regional campus of UCSF, the leading institution dedicated exclusively to the health sciences. Established in 1975 as a graduate medical education campus of the UCSF School of Medicine, UCSF Fresno is focused on improving health in California’s San Joaquin Valley and Central California through excellence in teaching and patient care, innovative clinical research and community partnerships. UCSF Fresno is the largest academic physician-training program between San Francisco and Sacramento to the north and Los Angeles to the south – training about 300 physicians and 300 rotating medical students each year. More than 600 UCSF core and volunteer faculty at UCSF Fresno care for thousands of patients annually and train the next generation of outstanding clinicians and patient advocates. Roughly 50% of the physicians trained at UCSF Fresno stay in the Valley to provide care, teach or continue their education. 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: The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as UCSF’s primary academic medical center, includes top-ranked specialty hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area. The UCSF School of Medicine also has a regional campus in Fresno. Learn more at ucsf.edu, or see our Fact Sheet

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