UCSF Fresno Doctors Academy Programs Celebrate Graduating Students

The UCSF School of Medicine regional campus in Fresno (UCSF Fresno) is proud to announce the upcoming graduation of students from its esteemed Doctors Academy programs at Caruthers and Sunnyside high schools. Thirty-one seniors from Caruthers High School and 30 seniors from Sunnyside High School will be recognized for their exceptional dedication in completing the Doctors Academy.

End-of-the-year events will celebrate the achievements of both graduating classes and continuing students.

End-of-Year Events:

Sunnyside High School Doctors Academy Class of 2024

Wednesday, May 15

6 to 8 p.m.

Sunnyside High School Theatre

1019 S. Peach Ave, Fresno, CA 93727   

Contact: Marisol Vargas, Academic Program Coordinator, [email protected]

Thursday, May 16

6 to 7:30 p.m.

Caruthers High School Gymnasium

2580 W. Tahoe Ave., Caruthers

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

All 61 students – 100% of the graduating DA classes - will continue their education at post-secondary institutions in the fall of 2024. Approximately 48% will enter a University of California campus.

Recipients of the following awards will be recognized or announced:

Mariela Lozano Bustos, DA student from Sunnyside Doctors Academy, with her family. Lozano Bustos was admitted to the eight-year SJV PRIME+ Baccalaureate-to-MD program in partnership with UC Merced, UCSF School of Medicine and UCSF Fresno. 

UC Merced SJV PRIME+ Baccalaureate-to-MD Acceptance:

Mariela Lozano Bustos, a student from Sunnyside Doctors Academy, was admitted to the eight-year SJV PRIME+ Baccalaureate-to-MD pathway, a partnership among UC Merced, UCSF School of Medicine and UCSF Fresno. Among thousands of applicants, she joins the second cohort of 15 students to be admitted. Learn more: https://admissions.ucmerced.edu/SJVP-BStoMD

 UC Regents Scholarship

A Sunnyside Doctors Academy student will be the recipient of the prestigious UC Regents Scholarship through UC Merced.  Learn more: https://financialaid.ucmerced.edu/scholarships

President’s Volunteer Service Award

Recognizing exceptional volunteerism and its community impact, this award is open to seventh to twelfth graders who submit their annual community service hours. Learn more: https://presidentialserviceawards.gov/

Dell Scholars

Three Sunnyside Doctors Academy students were recipients of the Dell Scholars Award. This program provides students with academic, financial and emotional support to navigate college. Learn more: https://www.dellscholars.org/

Questbridge National College Match Scholar:

Adam Alamsi, a senior from Caruthers High Doctors Academy, earned this prestigious scholarship and matched with Washington University in St. Louis, where he plans to major in Biology starting this fall. Learn more: https://www.questbridge.org/high-school-students/national-college-match

UCSF Merit Awards

Tia Vang, MD, an Internal Medicine physician and Sunnyside High School Doctors Academy alumni from the Class of 2003, will present these awards at Sunnyside High School's event/ Sukhmandeep Sidhu, a Sunnyside High School Doctors Academy alumni from the Class of 2019 who will start dental school this fall, will present at Caruthers High School.

UCSF School of Medicine Merit Award

Recipients gain interview invitations with the UCSF School of Medicine Committee on Admissions, provided they maintain eligibility prerequisites, complete a college degree and submit a full application.

UCSF School of Dentistry Merit Award

Similar to the School of Medicine award, recipients are invited for interviews with the UCSF School of Dentistry Committee on Admissions upon meeting specific criteria.

Health Careers Connection (HCC) Merit

Recipients of HCC merit will secure paid health-focused internships locally during one summer of their college or postbaccalaureate years, enhancing their competitiveness for professional schools. Learn more: https://www.healthcareers.org/

Simran Athwal, a pre-medical student and alumna of both HCC and Caruthers Doctors Academy, will present these awards at events held at Sunnyside and Caruthers High School.

Westly Foundation Scholarship

In support of enriching opportunities for students, the Westly Foundation generously funded 20 scholarships of $600 via a one-time donation for Doctors Academy students, with 10 scholarships allocated per site. These scholarships are intended to cover college transition expenses. Learn more at: https://westly.org/


The UCSF Fresno Office of Health Career Pathways (OHCP), formerly the UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research (LaCMER), was restructured to include SJV-MedBridge, an outreach program focused on community college students. In collaboration with Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) and Fresno County Office of Education, LaCMER started the Sunnyside High School Doctors Academy in 1999 to encourage educationally disadvantaged students to pursue careers in health and medicine.

OHCP aims to address the shortage of health care professionals in the San Joaquin Valley by developing individuals who will return to the region to provide culturally responsive health care services. The Doctors Academy and Junior Doctors Academy prepare students for careers in health care, significantly boosting college readiness with a 100% college acceptance rate among participants.

Currently, the Sunnyside High School Doctors Academy has 140 students enrolled while the Junior Doctors Academy serves 122 students at Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Terronez middle schools in FUSD. Since 2007, Doctors Academy programs have expanded to Caruthers High School with 118 students and in 2014, to Caruthers Elementary School with 56 students. OHCP remains committed to sustaining these programs and collaborating with Caruthers and FUSD to provide health career opportunities for qualifying students.

For more information on health pathway programs offered through OHCP, please contact Stephanie Huerta Alvarez, OHCP Manager, [email protected]

For more information:



About UCSF Fresno: UCSF Fresno is a regional campus of the UCSF School of Medicine and UCSF, the leading institution dedicated exclusively to the health sciences. Established in 1975, UCSF Fresno is focused on improving health in California’s San Joaquin Valley through excellence in teaching and patient care, innovative clinical research and community partnerships. UCSF Fresno is the largest physician-training program between San Francisco and Sacramento to the north and Los Angeles to the south. Core and volunteer faculty at UCSF Fresno care for thousands of patients annually and train the next generation of outstanding clinicians and patient advocates at clinical partner sites. Many of the physicians trained at UCSF Fresno stay in the Central Valley to provide care, teach, or continue their education. In addition, UCSF Fresno trains medical students including students in the UCSF San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education and helps prepare middle, high school and college students for careers in health and medicine through pathway programs. Please visit https://sjvpremed.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. UCSF also encompasses a regional campus in Fresno. Learn more at ucsf.edu


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