UCSF Fresno Doctors Academy Programs Celebrate Graduating Students  

FRESNO – Forty-seven students will graduate this June from the UCSF Fresno Doctors Academy programs at Caruthers and Sunnyside high schools. Twenty-three students make up the graduating Doctors Academy class at Caruthers High School and 24 students will graduate from the program at Sunnyside High School. End-of-the-year events celebrating graduates and continuing students will be held.   

End of Year Events:   

Wednesday, May 17, 2023    
6 to 8 p.m.   
Sunnyside High School, Theatre   
1019 S. Peach Ave, Fresno, CA 93727  

Contact Paula Peterson, Academic Program Coordinator, [email protected] 

Thursday, May 18, 2023   
6 to 7:30 p.m.  
Caruthers High School, Gymnasium 
2580 W. Tahoe Ave, Caruthers 

Contact Karina Reyes Banuelos, Academic Program Coordinator, [email protected]       

Forty-seven students – 100% of the graduating DA classes – will continue their education at post-secondary institutions in the fall 2023. Approximately 40% will enter a University of California campus with more than half of those attending UC Merced. Approximately 30% will enter a California State University campus with at least 86% of those attending Fresno State. Eleven percent will attend a private university, including Stanford, University of Oregon and Fresno Pacific University. Nineteen percent will enter a local community college with the intent to transfer to a four-year university.   

Of the 47 students who will complete the program, approximately 83% of the students have indicated that they plan to pursue a pre-health or science, technology, engineering or mathematics related major in college, with 11% indicating a business-related major and 6% pursuing other majors.   

“The dedication and commitment from our school sites and community partners are the catalysts that allow us to offer students and their families a wide range of services and opportunities for academic excellence and clinical mentorship experiences,” said Katherine A. Flores, MD, director of the UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research. “It is because of the collaborative efforts of these strong partnerships that the Doctors Academy students continue to attain their academic goals and are successful applicants to colleges and universities, most with continued aspirations to enter a health profession. We are extremely proud of all our students’ accomplishments and look forward to having them join our Central Valley’s health care provider team in the future.”     

Recipients of the following awards will be recognized or announced:   

UC Merced SJV PRIME+ BS/MD Acceptance: Two DA students were accepted into the inaugural cohort for the SJV PRIME+ BS/MD program. The eight-year program is a collaborative effort between UC Merced, UCSF School of Medicine and UCSF Fresno. Kareena Brring from Caruthers High School and Josyln Conchas from Sunnyside High School were both accepted for the 15-student cohort out of hundreds of applicants. Learn more at: https://admissions.ucmerced.edu/SJVP-BStoMD   

The President’s Volunteer Service Award: Awardees of this honor are recognized for their outstanding volunteerism and recognize the impact they make in their community. Students in seventh 12th grade are eligible to submit their yearly community services hours. Learn more at: https://presidentialserviceawards.gov/     

Questbridge National College Match Scholar: Sunnyside High Doctors Academy senior Maivnyaj (Lita) Moua, received the award in Fall 2022 and matched with Stanford University, where she plans to attend this fall and pursue a major in Human Biology. Learn more at: https://www.questbridge.org/high-school-students/national-college-match    

The Gates Scholarship: Caruthers High Doctors Academy senior Jordan Lopez, who will be attending the University of Oregon, was recently awarded The Gates Scholarship that will cover the full cost of attendance that is not already covered by other sources of financial aid. He plans to pursue a double major in Neuroscience and Music Education. Learn more at: https://www.thegatesscholarship.org/scholarship     

UCSF Merit Awards   

Bonnie Her, MD, local Family Medicine physician, Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) alumni and selection committee member will present the awards to selected students during Sunnyside High School’s event on May 17, and Anuvir Singh, MD, Emergency Medicine resident physician at UCSF Fresno and Class of 2010 Caruthers High School Doctors Academy alumnus, will present the awards during the May 18 event at Caruthers High School.   

UCSF School of Medicine Merit Award: Awardees of this honor will be included among the select group of applicants who are invited for interviews with members of the UCSF School of Medicine Committee on Admissions, if students maintain certain eligibility pre-requisites, complete a college degree and a complete application to UCSF School of Medicine.   

UCSF School of Dentistry Merit Award: Awardees of this honor will be included among the select group of applicants who are invited for interviews with members of the UCSF School of Dentistry Committee on Admissions if students maintain certain eligibility pre-requisites, complete a college degree and a complete application to UCSF School of Dentistry.   



The UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research (LaCMER), in partnership with Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) and Fresno County Office of Education, started the Sunnyside High School Doctors Academy in 1999 to encourage educationally disadvantaged students to focus on careers in health and medicine.    

The UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research provides multiple programs to address the serious shortage of physicians and other health care professionals in the Central San Joaquin Valley. The mission of LaCMER is to develop individuals to become health care professionals who will ultimately return to the San Joaquin Valley and to provide culturally competent health care services to the medically underserved. Health pathway programs like the Doctors Academy and Junior Doctors Academy prepare students for careers in the health care field. These programs are proven to increase students’ exposure to health care careers and significantly impact college readiness, with 100% of our students receiving college acceptance.   

The Sunnyside High School Doctors Academy currently has 137 students enrolled. A Fresno Unified School District Junior Doctors Academy Program was established in 2000 to encourage and support students earlier in their academic career as middle school students. The Junior Doctors Academy currently serves the FUSD sites of Kings Canyon, Sequoia and Terronez middle schools with a total of 130 enrolled.   

The need for the Doctors Academy program and health pathways has grown in scope over the past two decades. In 2007, Doctors Academy programs were established at Caruthers High School. A total of 123 students are currently enrolled at Caruthers High School. In 2014, the Junior Doctors Academy was extended to Caruthers Elementary School where there are currently 47 students enrolled.  The UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research continues to support and work closely with Caruthers and Fresno Unified School Districts to sustain these programs and provide health career opportunities for qualifying students.   

For more information about the UCSF Fresno Doctors Academy or the Latino Center for Medical Education and Research’s other health pathway programs as part of the UCSF Fresno Office of Health Career Pathways, please contact Stephanie Huerta Alvarez, Education Director at [email protected] or 559-259-3259.    

Learn more about our programs at: https://doctorsacademy.ucsf.edu/   

Learn more about our department at: https://www.fresno.ucsf.edu/lacmer   

Learn more about the Office of Health Career Pathways: https://sjvpremed.ucsf.edu