UCSF Fresno Celebrates Match Day and Second Graduating Class of Medical Students from San Joaquin Valley PRIME

FRESNO – Match Day occurs every year in March and is the time when medical school graduates learn where they will spend the next three to five years conducting the postgraduate training necessary to practice medicine in the United States. All UCSF Fresno residency programs that participated in the Match filled available positions - representing a 100 percent match rate at UCSF Fresno for the sixth year straight.

UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program will celebrate Match Day with two events on March 18 at the UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research, located at 155 N. Fresno Street.

The first event, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in Rooms 136-137, will celebrate the conclusion of clinical training for the second graduating class of medical students from the UC Davis – UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME) as they await notification regarding residency training – the next step in their medical education before becoming practicing physicians. Match Day envelopes will be presented to the medical students promptly at 9 a.m.

During the second event, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Amphitheater, UCSF Fresno program directors will announce the medical residents and fellows who matched with UCSF Fresno and who will begin their training this coming summer.

“Match Day is a significant milestone in medical education,” said Michael W. Peterson, MD, interim associate dean and chief of medicine at UCSF Fresno. “It is a rite of passage for medical students as they conclude their undergraduate medical education and learn where they will spend the next three to five years of their lives taking part in graduate medical education better known as residency training. UCSF Fresno is the largest physician training program in the San Joaquin Valley and it is our intention to keep those doctors here. It is only fitting on Match Day that we celebrate the medical students we have trained and the residents and fellows who will begin their training with us.”

Five medical students with ties to the San Joaquin Valley make up the SJV PRIME Class of 2016, including Fabian Alberto, who was raised in Soledad; Fakhra Khalid from Porterville; Maricela Rangel-Garcia from Fresno; Katy Lynn Ruch from Fresno and Megan Tresenriter from Modesto.

“An aim of San Joaquin Valley PRIME is to train physicians for our medically underserved region and to increase the diversity of the physician workforce,” said Kenny Banh, MD, director of undergraduate medical education at UCSF Fresno. “All of this year’s graduating students have an ultimate interest in practicing medicine in the San Joaquin Valley or working with medically underserved populations. They have worked very hard to get to this point. We are incredibly proud of them as they wrap up their training at UCSF Fresno and we’re excited to celebrate the future of these doctors.”

One student’s connection to UCSF Fresno dates back more than 20 years. Rangel-Garcia was raised in Fresno and Clovis. She graduated from UC Merced and was admitted to UC Davis School of Medicine as part of the SJV PRIME. During her third and fourth years of medical school, she returned to Fresno to conduct clinical rotations at UCSF Fresno, which brought her full circle. Rangel-Garcia, who recently gave birth to her own baby girl, was delivered decades ago by a physician faculty member at UCSF Fresno, Joan Rubenstein, MD. Rangel-Garcia’s sister also was accepted to UC Davis School of Medicine and recently learned that she was admitted to SJV PRIME.

“I am very excited to be graduating from SJV PRIME and I look forward to learning where I will be matched for residency training,” said Rangel-Garcia. “It has been a wonderful experience. It is especially surreal to be trained at UCSF Fresno. It was a UCSF Fresno physician who delivered me as a baby. I am equally delighted that my sister was accepted into SJV PRIME and will be following in my footsteps.”

As part of the Match Day process, medical school graduates typically register with the National Resident Matching Program. When the medical school graduate and the prospective medical education program mutually agree on the selection, a “match” has occurred and the medical school graduate will begin residency training, usually in July, at the hospital or program where he/she “matched.”

The UCSF Fresno residency programs that participated in the NRMP match received 5,132 applications and conducted 960 interviews for 78 positions. UCSF Fresno fellowship programs that took part in the October/December NRMP match received approximately 700 applications and conducted 109 interviews for 14 positions. The remaining programs filled available positions through another matching service or through interviews. UCSF Fresno currently offers residency training in eight specialties and fellowship training in 17 subspecialties.

SJV PRIME BACKGROUND: In September 2010, UC Merced announced a partnership with the UC Davis School of Medicine and UC San Francisco’s clinical campus in Fresno (UCSF Fresno) to establish a medical education program for students interested in practicing in the San Joaquin Valley and working with underserved populations. The inaugural group of students began their classes at UC Davis School of Medicine in August 2011 as part of the UC Davis - UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME).

The initial class of SJV PRIME students completed the first two years of medical school at UC Davis’ Sacramento campus and the third and fourth years of clinical training at UCSF Fresno and in Sacramento. All matched with residency programs in March 2015 and graduated with medical degrees from UC Davis School of Medicine in May 2015. This year’s graduating class (Class of 2016) represents the second cohort.

Currently there are 27 medical students in the SJV PRIME:

• Five (5) fourth-year students
• Eight (8) third-year students
• Nine (9) second-year students

All of the SJV PRIME students call the Central Valley home. Over 60 percent of students are from communities under-represented in medicine. SJV PRIME students speak 7 languages. Acceptance offer letters are being extended now to students who will represent the incoming cohort and will start training as part of SJV PRIME in August.