UCSF Fresno Celebrates SJV PRIME Day

As a regional campus of the UCSF School of Medicine, UCSF Fresno recruits and trains future physicians to address the unique health needs of the region’s diverse and underserved populations through the UCSF San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME). With strong connections to the Valley, SJV PRIME students call the region home and have demonstrated a commitment to serving local communities. Students spend the first 18 months at the UCSF campus in San Francisco, then move to Fresno for the remaining two and a half years of their medical education at UCSF Fresno.

On May 9, UCSF Fresno celebrated “SJV PRIME Day” as it brought together all 42 of the students currently enrolled in SJV PRIME. This was the first time all four classes were  on campus together. The program’s faculty and medical students took part in special workshops, meetings and retreats. The day also offered friends and supporters of UCSF Fresno the opportunity to meet these exceptional students during a reception and luncheon.

In attendance were donors to the Joan L. Voris, MD, Endowed Scholarship who were delighted to meet the 2023 Voris Scholar Neytali Kanwar. Neytali is a first-generation daughter of Indian immigrants who grew up in west Fresno attending Central High School East before graduating from Fresno State. She just completed her first year as a student in SJV PRIME.

“SJV PRIME provides me with the tools and education to help alleviate health disparities people face in the Valley, and also allows me to train in my hometown and my community that I hope to one day serve,” said Kanwar. “As a first-generation student with limited resources available to me, I was often concerned about how I would afford higher education. The  support helps me focus on my studies free from those worries.”

Most students who aspire to become physicians through SJV PRIME lack the financial means to do so. For those students currently in SJV PRIME, 100% have some sort of scholarship support and 66% have loan indebtedness. The average loan indebtedness for these students at graduation is projected to be $105,000. Additional support is needed to be able to fully fund the cost of attendance for all SJV PRIME students.

We are grateful to these community members and their support that helps ensure the highest-quality medical education remains accessible to the most exceptional Valley students who come from and understand the communities they will one day serve. To learn more about how your gift to UCSF Fresno can help us continue the important work of educating the next generation of physicians for the Valley, contact Kathleen Smith, assistant director of development, [email protected] or (559) 499-6426.