UCSF Fresno Launches Two New Training Programs

FRESNO - UCSF Fresno recently launched two new training programs. The UCSF Fresno Hematology/Oncology Fellowship is an internal medicine program that launched in July with two fellows. The UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant (PA) Residency Program started in August with two residents joining the program this year.

Residency training prepares recently graduated Doctors of Medicine (MD) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) to become specialists, including pediatricians and family practitioners among others, in approximately three to five years. Fellowships offer specific training beyond residency in an area of expertise. Fellowships generally last one to two years.

The UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine PA Residency Program is one of only two such programs in the state. The UCSF Fresno program is the first PA residency program in the University of California system and the only state-approved program.

“With one of four deaths in California due to cancer, the new Hematology/Oncology Fellowship will enhance cancer care in the region and further reduce the necessity for Valley patients to travel outside of the region for sub-specialty care,” said Michael W. Peterson, MD, associate dean at UCSF Fresno.”

“In addition, today there is an increased emphasis being placed on team-based, comprehensive and coordinated care involving numerous health care providers, including physician assistants,” added Dr. Peterson. “This approach to care is aimed at achieving the best health outcomes for patients. It is only natural that UCSF Fresno broaden its training programs to include these  allied health professionals.”

The UCSF Fresno Hematology/Oncology Fellowship is a three-year program headed up by Uzair B. Chaudhary, MD, chief of Hematology/Oncology at UCSF Fresno. Hematology is the study of blood. Oncology is the study of cancer. A hematologist-oncologist is a physician who specializes in the treatment of blood diseases and cancers. Training takes place primarily at Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) and The VA Central California Health Care System with a bone marrow transplant rotation at UCSF.

The program’s fellows include Greg Gilmore, DO, and Mohamad Barakat, MD.

“The goal of the program is to equip physicians with the professional, attitudinal, cognitive and technical skills necessary to provide patients with kind and compassionate care,” said Dr. Chaudhary.

The UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine PA Residency Program is 18 months. Training takes place primarily at CRMC and includes rotations in emergency medicine; pediatric emergency medicine; trauma; specialty clinics such as dermatology, orthopaedics, oral & maxillofacial surgery or ophthalmology; surgical critical care; medical critical care; burn; toxicology; anesthesia/emergency ultrasound and emergency medical services.

The goal of the program is to increase the emergency medicine PA workforce in California, especially in the underserved Central Valley.

“With the changes in health care, we are seeing increased utilization of physician assistants to augment the workforce,” said Fred Wu, PA-C, MHS, program director of the Emergency Medicine PA Residency. “Offering specialized training through a residency program provides PAs with the opportunity to focus on an area of interest, gain valuable additional training and clinical experience, and improve career prospects and marketability.”

The first UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine PA residents include John Ramos, PA-C and Jannifer Matos, PA-C.

The addition of these programs brings the number of fellowships at UCSF Fresno to 17 and the number of residency programs to 10. Residency programs include eight medical programs, one dental residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery as well as the Emergency Medicine PA Residency.