UCSF Fresno Fills All Available Residency Positions for the 15th Year in a Row During Match Day 2021

FRESNO – UCSF Fresno filled all available residency training positions for the 15th year in a row during Match Day, today (March 19). Match Day occurs every year in March and is the time when graduating medical students across the United States, including students in the San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME), who trained at UCSF Fresno, received emails simultaneously that revealed where they will spend the next several years conducting the postgraduate training (residency) necessary to practice medicine in the U.S. It’s also the day when residency programs learn the identities of the first-year residents or interns who will be joining them for training later in the summer.

“It is a privilege and honor to lead the UCSF School of Medicine regional campus in Fresno,” said Michael W. Peterson, MD, associate dean at UCSF Fresno. “Two of my proudest moments are Match Day and graduation. Graduation is the culmination of training with us and Match Day marks the beginning. These incoming residents will spend the next three to seven years fine-tuning the skills and knowledge needed prior to practicing medicine independently. While we are celebrating Match Day virtually this year due to COVID-19, our excitement and enthusiasm remain high.”

Eight San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME) medical students pursued residency programs this year. The students include:

  • Alejandro Ramirez is from Fresno and a graduate of Fresno State
  • Ramandeep Dhillon is from Caruthers and a graduate of UC Berkeley   
  • Robin Draper is from Fresno and a graduate of Fresno State
  • Amanda Panh is from Stockton and a graduate of the University of the Pacific
  • Lizette Rodriguez is from Woodlake and a graduate of UC Davis
  • Liliana Samano is from Fresno and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame
  • Cristal Suarez is from Visalia and a graduate of Yale University
  • Pong Xiong is from Merced and a graduate of UC Davis

Seven of the eight will be staying in California to provide much needed medical care. Six of them matched with University of California-affiliated residencies. Three will be staying on at UCSF Fresno – Ramandeep Dhillon matched in Internal Medicine; Robin Draper matched in Surgery and Liliana Samano matched in Emergency Medicine.

“An aim of the San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education is to train physicians for our under resourced region and to increase the diversity of the physician workforce,” said Loren Alving, MD, director of the SJV PRIME at UCSF Fresno. “As we recognize the 10th anniversary of SJV PRIME this year, this class and their predecessors continue to embody that mission.” 

“It’s incredibly rewarding to know that seven of the eight graduates are staying in California. Six of them are staying in the Central Valley and three of those are staying with us at UCSF Fresno,” said Kenny Banh, MD, assistant dean for medical education at UCSF Fresno. “All will be providing high-quality, accessible care. We congratulate them and wish them well in their residency training.”

Medical school graduates 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 or interns will then begin residency training at the hospital or program where they “matched. A similar “match” occurs for fellows and sub-specialty training each year in December.

“Our reputation as a regional campus of the consistently top-ranked UCSF School of Medicine continues to grow,” said Lori Weichenthal, MD, assistant dean of graduate medical education at UCSF Fresno. “Our focus in on training highly skilled, culturally competent physicians and patient advocates. For the 15th year in a row, we filled all available residency positions and we look forward to welcoming our new interns and fellows in late June.” 

The UCSF Fresno residency programs that participated in the NRMP match received 8,605 applications and conducted 963 interviews for 71 positions, filling all available residency positions. UCSF Fresno fellowship programs that took part in the October/December NRMP match received 1,850 applications and conducted 259 interviews for 18 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 210 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 18 medical sub-specialties and three residency programs for physician assistants.

SJV PRIME BACKGROUND: The San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME) represents the sixth program in the University of California’s programs in medical education. The program prepares medical students to be excellent clinicians, patient advocates and physician leaders for underserved 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 and underserved 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.

Currently, there are 36 students enrolled in SJV PRIME, with the majority coming from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. With strong Valley connections, SJV PRIME students call the region home. Including this year’s class, SJV PRIME will have graduated 47 students. Forty-two of the graduates will be starting or are completing residency or fellowship training. Five graduates are now practicing physicians in the San Joaquin Valley, California or in the U.S. military.