UCSF Fresno, SJV PRIME Students Celebrate Residency Placements on Match Day

Excitement, nervousness, anticipation, and anxiety were just some of the emotions medical students expressed on Match Day and leading up to the big event. The energy in the room was electric as students in the second class of the UCSF San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME) gathered with loved ones, faculty and staff on March 15 at UCSF Fresno for a breakfast celebration and to open the envelopes that would reveal the next step on their paths to becoming physicians.

Match Day takes place annually on the third Friday in March and is the time when soon-to-be medical school graduates across the United States simultaneously learn where they will spend the next several years conducting residency training (the hands-on clinical training under faculty supervision that is required prior to practicing independently).

Seven of the eight SJV PRME students who participated in this year’s Match will continue their medical education at University of California campuses. Two will stay at UCSF Fresno in Emergency Medicine.  

“We are very excited for our second class of SJV PRIME students on National Match Day,” said Loren Alving, MD, director, UCSF SJV PRIME. “These students are from the Valley, completed two and a half years of medical school in the Valley, and are committed to serving in the Valley. We look forward to great things from them and to one day welcoming them as faculty and as colleagues once they finish their residency and fellowship training."

SJV PRIME is a tailored track for UCSF medical students committed to providing high-quality, diverse and well distributed medical care to improve health in the San Joaquin Valley — the region where they were raised and a region in need of physicians. There are 47 primary care physicians in the San Joaquin Valley per 100,000 population, in contrast to the recommended 81. SJV PRIME students possess a common desire to provide care and to give back to the communities where they grew up. They also share a calling to promote health equity and mentor Valley students who follow in their footsteps, just as they were mentored.

SJV PRIME soon-to-be-graduates Christopher Teran (left) and Jacob Perez-Stringer (right)

“I am looking forward to staying close to home with family and friends. I plan to practice in the Valley and hope to teach the next generation of SJV PRIME students,” said Jacob Perez-Stringer, who will start residency training at UCSF Fresno in Emergency Medicine this June. “Drs. Kenny Banh and Lily Hitchner have been great mentors during medical school and even before. They are the reason I fell in love with Emergency Medicine.” Perez-Stringer is a Valley native, attended Reedley High School, Reedley College and graduated from Fresno State.

“I am excited to be a part of the Central Valley community, the place where I grew up and I’m excited to be the best doctor I can be here. I hope to continue my efforts in mentorship and community outreach,” said Christopher Teran, who matched with UCSF Fresno in Emergency Medicine. Teran attended Patterson High School and Yale University.

Health and Human Services Region IX Director Jeffrey Reynoso, DrPH, MPH

 Health and Human Services (HHS) Region IX Director Jeffrey Reynoso, DrPH, MPH, joined the morning Match Day celebration to express HHS’s appreciation for the SJV PRIME and to recognize the achievements of the students and faculty. “As a child of the Central Valley myself nothing brings me more joy than seeing eight fellow locals make the commitment to bring care back to our community.”

The UCSF Fresno campus community on Match Day

The SJV PRIME breakfast was one of two celebrations at UCSF Fresno on Match Day. The other was a lunchtime event where the campus community came together to recognize and applaud as the names of the physicians who will start training at UCSF Fresno later this summer were read by program directors. All available positions at UCSF Fresno were filled.

Seventy-nine new physicians including two SJV PRIME students and 23 physicians seeking advanced sub-specialty training will join UCSF Fresno later this summer.  

Stacy Sawtelle Vohra, MD

“We look forward to welcoming 100 new doctors to UCSF Fresno who share our commitment to serving our community and advancing access to high quality medical care here in the Valley,” said Stacy Sawtelle Vohra, MD, Interim Designated Institutional Official and Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director at UCSF Fresno. “Collectively, they bring a wide diversity of experiences and have completed their medical education across the United States and internationally.”

2024 Match Day By the Numbers

The UCSF Fresno medical residency programs that participated in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) received 8,305 applications and conducted 1,067 interviews for 75 positions. The Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program’s Match Day took place in January. UCSF Fresno’s Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program received 135 applications and conducted 20 interviews for four positions. The UCSF Fresno fellowship programs that took part in the October/December NRMP match received 2,002 applications and conducted 293 interviews for 23 positions. Non-NRMP programs filled available positions through another matching service or through interviews and offers. 


The Match Process

According to the NRMP, a record high number of applicants, over 44,000, registered in the 2024 Main Residency Match which included 6,395 certified training programs offering 41,503 first- and second-year training positions.  

Graduating medical students typically register with the NRMP as part of the Match Day process. The NRMP utilizes a mathematical algorithm to place applicants into residency positions. Medical school graduates then begin residency training at the hospital or program where they “matched” as interns. A similar “match” occurs each year in December for physicians entering advanced sub-specialty fellowship training.


UCSF Fresno, a regional campus of the UCSF School of Medicine, offers training in eight medical residency programs, one dental surgery residency program and 22 sub-specialty fellowships.  In 2011, a partnership among the UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Merced, UCSF School of Medicine and UCSF Fresno started SJV PRIME with UC Davis as the degree-granting institution. UCSF became the degree-granting institution in 2018. The first class of students in the new UCSF SJV PRIME was admitted in 2019. In fall 2023, UC Merced, in partnership with the UCSF School of Medicine and its regional campus in Fresno launched SJV PRIME+, an eight-year baccalaureate to MD program, with 15 students. Both programs will run concurrently. SJV PRIME will continue as the medical school track. SJV PRIME+ is an expansion of SJV PRIME, starting at the baccalaureate level with students completing all eight years in the Valley.

What SJV PRIME students are saying:

Loren I. Alving, MD, hugs Kyle Shen

“My coaches were great mentors that really had my back throughout medical school.  Thank you Dr. O'Brien and Dr. Refaat! I hope to be part of medical education in the San Joaquin Valley.”

Kyle Shen graduated from Merced High School and UC Merced. He matched in Internal Medicine at UC San Diego.


Charis Turner (left) and husband Marcus Turner

“I was introduced to my specialty Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Dr. Loren Alving’s Neurology Clinic.  A long-term goal is to expand access to PM&R care for underserved patients.”

Charis Turner grew up in Merced and attended UC Santa Barbara. She matched with the University of Washington Medicine in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R). Her husband also is a UCSF graduate and a current Ophthalmology resident at UW


Inderpreet Bal 

“It's a bittersweet moment personally for me knowing the person who inspired this dream, my mom isn’t physically with me any longer, but I know she would be proud. I hope to pay forward the service and time that was offered to me in my medical education to one day provide the same support and mentorship for Central Valley medical students to come.”

Inderpreet Bal went to Kingsburg High School and graduated from Fresno State. She matched in Internal Medicine at UC Davis.


Kiranjot Kaur 

“I want to pursue a career in academic medicine and be involved in medical education. I also hope to continue working on community engagement projects promoting health equity and wellbeing.”

Kiranjot Kaur graduated from UC Irvine and matched in Internal Medicine at UC Irvine


Vanessa Mora Molina 

“I hope to continue focusing on community outreach efforts and health equity research to address barriers in access to surgical care for patients from underserved backgrounds. I also hope to inspire and mentor other underrepresented minority students to pursue careers in surgery.”

Vanessa Mora Molina graduated from UC Santa Barbara and matched with UCLA in Surgery.


SJV PRIME Class of 2024








SJV PRIME Class of 2024 with faculty








SJV PRIME Class of 2024 with UME/SJV PRIME staff


Part of Newsletter: Focus on UCSF Fresno Spring 2024