UCSF Fresno Graduate Carries on Tradition of Teaching and Healing

Doctor in white coat
Roman Roque, MD

Roman Roque, DO, MPH, was born in the Philippines and moved to California’s Bay Area with his family at the age of 12. His father was a community physician in the Philippines and a maternal uncle was a physician and professor. Both were some of his earliest inspirations.

“My childhood self envisioned doctors as ordinary people who have the extraordinary privilege to heal and teach,” said Dr. Roque.

He will be among the more than 100 residents and fellows completing training and graduating from UCSF Fresno this June. Dr. Roque is finishing a four-year residency program in Psychiatry and after graduation, he will join the VA Central California Health Care System's Substance Use Disorders Program as a staff psychiatrist and serve as clinical faculty with the UCSF Fresno Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Roque chose Psychiatry because it focuses on people and relationships.

“We see patients in different settings and states, and in these encounters try to figure out together what is causing distress and suffering,” he said. “Psychiatry attempts to understand human experience from a biopsychosocial, spiritual, and existential perspective, and use that same approach to facilitate healing. People want to be seen and heard.” 

Although moving with his family to the United States came with opportunities, it also presented challenges including navigating a system that was unfamiliar to his family of immigrants. Through determination and mentorship, he set goals to become a doctor that later developed into guiding principles for practicing lifelong medicine.

Dr. Roque attended UCLA. He earned a medical degree from Touro University California and matched with UCSF Fresno for residency training.

“What I like best about training at UCSF Fresno is the community,” said Dr. Roque. “We see patients who have experienced great tragedies in their lives but have also shown great resilience.”

“The mentorship at UCSF Fresno provided by attending physicians is a balance between supervision and autonomy, leading to more confident decision-making as training progresses. And the people – staff, co-residents, attendings – care and want you to succeed in your personal and professional life," said Dr. Roque. 

Completing residency training is a source of pride for Dr. Roque. It is the culmination of personal and professional goals and the opportunity to carry on a family tradition of healers and teachers.