TAG: "Medical education"

UCSF Fresno celebrates 40 years of training physicians


Fundraiser highlights impact on health in San Joaquin Valley.

UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program will celebrate 40 years of training physicians for the San Joaquin Valley at its biennial fundraiser “Valley Visions.”

The event will be held on Saturday, April 11, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Fresno Convention Center New Exhibit Hall, located at 848 M St. in downtown Fresno. Hundreds of physicians, other health care professionals and community leaders are expected to attend.

Since it was established as a regional campus of UCSF in 1975, UCSF Fresno has trained approximately 3,000 physicians. Up to 40 percent of them stay in the San Joaquin Valley to provide medical care for community members.

“UCSF Fresno has grown significantly over the past four decades,” said Michael W. Peterson, M.D., interim associate dean and chief of medicine at UCSF Fresno. “Today, we are the San Joaquin Valley’s largest physician training program. Currently, we train about 600 physicians and future physicians through all of our medical education programs every year, right here in Fresno.”Growth at UCSF Fresno since 1975:
  • The number of core faculty at UCSF Fresno increased from one to 230
  • The number of medical residents and fellows trained on an annual basis rose from 102 to 300
  • Seventeen fellowship programs were established
The number of medical students that conduct clinical rotations at UCSF Fresno increased from 186 in 2003 to more than 300 currently.Since 1998, UCSF Fresno has attracted more than $85 million in research, public service and training grants and contracts.

“Our progress and success is a result of the hard work and dedication of our partners, donors, faculty and staff,” added Peterson. “Valley Visions is a celebration of them as much as it is recognition of our 40th anniversary. We look forward to continue working collaboratively well into the future.Working together is the most effective way to move forward our missions of providing medical education, clinical care and medical research to improve health and health care in the region.”

The 5th Valley Visions will honor UCSF Fresno’s ruby anniversary with premium food and beverage tastings from local culinary artisans, wineries and breweries. A sit-down dinner also will be served,followed by live music and dancing. In addition, the event will include a silent auction featuring vacation packages, autographed sports and celebrity memorabilia, designer fashions and jewelry, dinners and much more.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit UCSF Fresno’s many medical education programs.

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UC medical students celebrate Match Day


More than 650 UC graduating medical students match to residency programs.

UCLA graduating medical students Jiwoon Chang (left) and Abinav Baweja celebrate after learning that they matched together to the internal medicine residency program at NYU.

For graduating medical students, Match Day is the Academy Awards without the red carpet, March Madness without the brackets. It’s a thrilling time when the nation’s future doctors learn which hospital has accepted them for residency to get advanced training in their chosen specialty.

On March 20, more than 650 UC medical students were among the nearly 17,000 seniors at traditional U.S. medical schools who learned where they were matched.

UCLA graduating medical students Abinav Baweja and Jiwoon Chang couldn’t wait to tell each other where they were matched. The friends were overjoyed to find out that they matched together to their first choice – a top East Coast program in internal medicine.

“NYU: We said it at the same time. We burst into tears and laughter. It was a big moment for both of us,” Baweja said. “There is no better feeling than this … we made it!”

UC Davis' Chelsea Ma reacts to her residency match.

Virtually all UC graduating medical students matched, including 105 at UC Davis, 96 at UC Irvine, 161 at UCLA, 115 at UC San Diego and 177 at UC San Francisco. Most will continue their training in California.

“It’s a little hard to put into words,” said Agustin Morales, a fourth-year UC Davis medical student from Salinas who was part of the first San Joaquin Valley PRIME cohort – a collaboration between the UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Merced and UCSF Fresno that trains medical students with a special emphasis on patients in underserved communities.

“It’s been an amazing journey, and I matched to my number-one pick, UCSF Fresno,” added Morales. “It’s a gem of a program in internal medicine and I’m excited about the next three years.”

Newly minted UC Irvine doctor Jacob Blickenstaff and his wife, Jacky, cheer over his letter from the medical institution where he'll begin his career.

Fourth-year UCSF medical student Aaron Smith, was excited to be graduating and begin his residency program in internal medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.

“My dream growing up has always been to become a doctor,” Smith said. “Now when people call me a doc, I’m actually a doc! This is the fulfillment of what I’ve always wanted to do.”

At UC Irvine, Match Day is an emotional, festive event during which the future doctors are called to a podium one at a time to open an envelope and read aloud before hundreds of family members, friends and classmates the name and location of the hospital where they’ll spend the next three to seven years pursuing postgraduate medical training as a resident physician.

UC San Diego graduating medical students celebrate their matches.

A former elementary school teacher, Marcella Torres, 40, used her experience volunteering with the Peace Corps in Panama and helping Burmese refugees in Northern Thailand to enter UC Irvine’s PRIME program for the Latino community, the first medical training program to address the specific needs of America’s largest and fastest-growing community. She matched with a family medicine residency program at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez and next month plans to go Cuba with another PRIME student to observe its community-based primary care health system.

Among the UC San Diego participants was Thomas Onyia, an immigrant from central Africa who plans to be an anesthesiologist and participate in surgical outreach missions in Africa and other developing countries.

UC San Francisco medical students Tarann Henderson (left) and Matthew Abad-Santos matched with emergency medicine and surgery programs, respectively.

“I feel great,” said Onyia, after his envelope revealed that he got his wish to do his residency at UC San Diego. “The best thing about it is that I have great mentors here who have supported me throughout the process.”

With a match rate of 93.9 percent, nearly all of the nation’s seniors at traditional medical schools landed a first-year residency.

A computer algorithm from the National Resident Matching Program matches the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs at teaching hospitals throughout the country. The students from traditional medical schools such as UC apply for the available residency positions along with thousands of independent applicants, including osteopathic students and graduates of foreign medical schools. Overall, more than 41,000 individuals applied for more than 30,000 residency slots across the country.

“We are extremely proud of this year’s Match Day group,” said Mark Servis, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and senior associate dean for medical education at the UC Davis School of Medicine. “This is the future of medicine, caring individuals with a passion for health care and a desire to develop their clinical skills to the very best of their abilities. As I told them before they opened their envelopes, ‘It’s not where you match that is most important, it’s what you do in caring for your patients and working with others that is the key to your success and the ultimate accomplishment as a physician.’”

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Medical school open house targets region’s future doctors


UC Riverside event is geared to high school, college students interested in medical career.

UC Riverside medical students will participate in hands-on demonstrations during the School of Medicine open house.

By Jessica Kump, UC Riverside

The UC Riverside School of Medicine is hosting an open house on Saturday, May 16, for community members interested in exploring what it’s like to be a UCR medical student. Medical school leadership, faculty and students will lead sessions and demonstrations focused on what it takes to get into medical school, the admissions process and key aspects of the medical student experience.

The open house runs from 8 a.m to 12 p.m. at the UCR School of Medicine Education Building. It is free and open to individuals and groups, but RSVPs are requested. Complimentary parking will be available in Parking Lot 13.

Scheduled activities during the open house include a panel discussion with medical school students, basic life saving demonstrations, simulation lab demonstrations, and an admissions discussion with medical school leadership.

Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs Neal Schiller said he looks forward to leading the admissions discussion.

“Every outreach event in our community shows me how much potential exists in our region’s future generations,” he said. “I look forward to seeing many faces light up when they realize they can become doctors, they can succeed here. I know many of those faces will come through our doors years later, donning a fresh white coat, ready to begin.”

The event will also showcase the Practice Improvement Projects completed by first-year medical students, which are part of their early work toward improving the health of their community. The projects study specific aspects of healthcare delivery identified by the students, who then develop proposals to improve the effectiveness of patient care and patient health outcomes. All first-year medical students will be present at the event to discuss their work, present their findings and receive evaluations from distinguished medical school faculty.

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New reality of California ‘DREAMers’ takes shape at UCSF


Three undocumented immigrants chosen to join UCSF School of Dentistry’s class of 2019.

By Marc Fredson, UC San Francisco

José Carrasco Sandoval, Laura Aguilar and Angie Celis typify the caliber of talent UC San Francisco attracts. These California residents are standout students and want to give back to their communities after they graduate. All three have been chosen to join the School of Dentistry’s class of 2019.

Unlike most of their peers, all three are “DREAMers,” a term used to describe undocumented immigrants under the age of 31 who entered the United States before the age of 16 and have lived continuously in the country for at least five years while staying out of legal trouble. Those who meet these criteria outlined by the federal Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act are often referred to as “DREAMers.”

Carrasco Sandoval, Aguilar and Celis’ acceptance and enrollment at UCSF represent a particular milestone in the midst of shifting political winds. They will join Jirayut Latthivongskorn, a first-year DREAMer student in the School of Medicine.

“I was always hopeful that this day would come,” said Celis, who was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the San Fernando Valley with her family when she was two. “It took me longer to make it, but now I’m here.”

“Ever since I was in high school, I knew I wanted to be a doctor,” said Carrasco Sandoval, who graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in molecular and cell biology. “I also knew from an early age that our family had a special condition we called sin papeles, which means ‘without papers’ in Spanish, and that realizing my dream would be a challenge without having legal citizenship.” His parents left their native Jalisco, Mexico, and settled down in Napa when he was 2 years old.

Aguilar’s story is similar to Celis’ and Carrasco Sandoval’s. Her parents also made Napa their home after leaving Guadalajara, Mexico, when she was four. “I’ve wanted to be a dentist since I was young but remember thinking it didn’t seem possible because of my status,” she said. “I decided to just keep trying and to stay positive.”

The door to their dreams edged open with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a new American immigration policy implemented by the Obama administration in June 2012. The policy allows certain immigrants — otherwise known as “DREAMers,” to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation.

Because of DACA, “for the first time, I could apply for programs, internships, jobs, scholarships and financial aid to help pursue my professional goals,” Aguilar said. “Not to mention simpler things like getting a driver’s license, establishing credit and opening a bank account.”

UCSF has a long-standing commitment to building a broadly diverse student community. As such, its leadership, faculty and staff work hard to create programs that provide additional support for students from underrepresented groups.

“Students with diverse backgrounds, such as those with DACA status, bring an important component to the University,” said John D.B. Featherstone, Ph.D., dean of the UCSF School of Dentistry. “One of my highest priorities is that we do everything possible to open the doors to dental education for the best and the brightest, regardless of their social or economic backgrounds.”

All three dreamers are products of the UC system. Carrasco Sandoval and Aguilar pursued their undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside, respectively, while Celis received a Master of Science degree in oral biology from UCLA.

As an initial introduction to UCSF, Aguilar attended the Office of Diversity and Outreach’s “Inside UCSF” program, an annual two-day event geared toward students at two- and four-year degree schools who are interested in pursuing careers in health and science. “The students and faculty I met at ‘Inside UCSF’ were very inspiring, welcoming and supportive,” she said. “They encouraged us to keep working and made us aware of available resources.”

Carrasco Sandoval enrolled in a first-of-its-kind post-baccalaureate program offered by the School of Dentistry. “The purpose of the program is to help those who have demonstrated the ability to overcome hardship and who we think will ultimately be successful here,” said James Betbeze, assistant dean for enrollment management and outreach at the School of Dentistry.

“These students are three of the brightest, most driven individuals I’ve encountered,” said Daniel Ramos, D.D.S., Ph.D., a professor at the UCSF School of Dentistry who supported them through the process. “They’ve overcome insurmountable odds to be in a position to be able to help the community from which they came.

“DACA students are often particularly committed to underserved populations, because they may grow up in communities without ready access to dental care. They personally understand those challenges and have an inherent motivation to try and address them.”

Celis plans to continue being an activist in the immigrant community. “I feel an obligation to help the underserved community and to use my experience to help those who have hopes and dreams of going into higher education,” she said.

Carrasco Sandoval envisions working in a community dental practice. “At some point, I’d like to be a director for a community clinic, where I can help low-income and immigrant populations,” he said.

When Aguilar volunteered at a health clinic in Riverside, “I saw the adversities that others face and realized how lucky I was to have parents that supported my education,” she said. “I saw huge disparities, not just in health, but in education and in the way that people’s lives played out.” Aguilar tentatively plans to be a general dentist, and is also considering specializing in periodontics.

“The incredible and proud accomplishments of these students demonstrate that their aspirations go beyond the pursuit on an undergraduate degree,” said Alejandra Rincón, Ph.D., chief of staff to the vice chancellor of diversity and outreach, and an author of a book focused on undocumented immigrants’ access to higher education. “We welcome these students and congratulate their families as they enter this new face of their professional lives.”

Like other young people with DACA status, Carrasco Sandoval, Aguilar and Celis see themselves as more than future dentists. Because of their backgrounds and the opportunities they’ve been given, each seeks to make life better for others.

“I’ve seen the good that comes from when someone believes in you and gives you a chance,” said Aguilar. “It has shaped the kind of role model I want to become.”

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UCLA’s Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program among first to be accredited


Prospective applicants are urged to apply by April 1.

By Roxanne Moster, UCLA

UCLA’s Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program has been approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, providing the innovative subspecialty with key support as it earns broader recognition. In receiving accreditation, UCLA becomes one of only seven programs nationwide to earn approval from that important sanctioning body to date.

“We’re fortunate to be among the programs that will pioneer clinical informatics training, helping to establish the new subspecialty’s role in transforming health care,” said Dr. Douglas Bell, professor of medicine at UCLA and program director of the new fellowship.

Clinical informatics involves the application of both biomedical knowledge and information management to improve health care. Physicians who practice this growing scientific discipline strive to improve and transform health care by analyzing, designing, implementing and evaluating information and communication systems that enhance individual and population health outcomes, improve patient care, and strengthen the patient/clinician relationship.

“The UCLA fellowship program received accreditation just a year after planning and development began,” said Kevin Baldwin, specialist in IT engagement and quality improvement for UCLA Health and the program administrator.

Baldwin added that accreditation elevates UCLA to the vanguard of clinical informatics training.

“This program puts us at the forefront of informatics nationally, and we’re excited to continue building our leadership in the field,” he said.

The field of clinical informatics came into sharp focus in 2011 when the American Board of Medical Specialties approved it as a new, board-eligible subspecialty. Beginning in 2018, board eligibility in clinical informatics will require completion of a fellowship program that is accredited by the ACGME. Currently, fewer than 800 physicians around the country are board-certified in clinical informatics.

With accreditation now complete, UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have begun seeking candidates for two clinical informatics fellowship positions. Physicians from around the country are expected to apply, and fellows will be chosen in April. The two-year fellowship positions, both of them open to graduates of residency programs in any medical specialty, will begin in July 2015.

“It is exciting and humbling for UCLA Health to be part of the initial group of programs around the country that will offer this innovative and impactful fellowship in clinical informatics,” said Dr. Michael Pfeffer, chief medical informatics officer and acting chief information officer for UCLA Health. “We have a diverse, board-certified clinical informatics faculty ready to train the country’s future leaders in informatics.”

The goal of UCLA’s fellowship program is to train physicians in the principles and practice of clinical informatics, preparing them to lead the way in implementing health information technology systems as well as in research that advances the discipline.

“Clinical informatics is the scientific discipline focused on how we can deliver knowledge and information precisely where it’s needed in health care,” said Bell. “By learning to conduct rigorous research as well as to manage health IT systems, our fellows will close the gap between informatics research and practice by conducting research that’s embedded in and that directly informs clinical informatics practice.”

As they investigate how health care IT systems impact the delivery of care, fellows will focus on real-world problems such as the fatigue that physicians and nurses face as more and more devices capable of tracking patient data bombard them with information.

Fellows will complete a training program that includes:

• Clinical rotations, which involve four-week assignments to working units of the UCLA Health Information Services and Solutions Department. The department was responsible for UCLA Health being named among the nation’s “most wired” by Hospitals and Health Networks magazine.
• Didactics, including case studies and course work presented by expert faculty and covering a challenging core curriculum.
• An individualized, mentored research project based upon personal career objectives and informatics challenges that fellows identify during clinical rotations.
• Dedicated time to practice in the fellow’s specialty.

“As much as possible, we incorporated practical experience into this program in order to equip the fellows with the skills necessary to flourish in the physician workforce immediately after certification in this specialized field.” Baldwin said. “These early fellows are innovators. I see them going out and having a big impact nationally across the health system.”

At least some graduates are expected to fill the role of chief medical information officer within health care delivery organizations, serving as a bridge between the physician team and IT workforce to ensure that IT systems are implemented appropriately.

“Clinical informatics is critical to the success of technology in health care, whether it involves electronic health records, imaging informatics or shaping policy on how technology is used,” Pfeffer said. “As board-certified physicians in the specialty of their choosing, and as active clinicians using technologies in real time, they will be able to apply their knowledge from the fellowship to develop new and user-friendly ways for technology to help clinicians take better care of patients.”

Prospective applicants are urged to complete an online application at www.uclahealth.org/ClinicalInformaticsFellowship by April 1. Questions should be emailed to: CIFellowship@mednet.ucla.edu.

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UCLA, three other universities create National Clinician Scholars Program


New initiative will train physicians, nurses to conduct research with goal of improving health care, health of communities.

By Enrique Rivero, UCLA

UCLA has joined with Yale University, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania to launch the new National Clinician Scholars Program, which will educate nurses and physicians to serve as leaders, researchers and change agents in health care, community health and public policy.

The innovative program fills the gap left after the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ended its Clinical Scholars program for physicians. The new program will expand on the RWJF program by including nurse scientists as well as physicians, and will address new and emerging issues related to health care delivery and improving the health of communities.

“This new national program that builds on the over 40-year legacy of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program will create leaders and change agents with the needed skills to transform health care delivery and ultimately the health of our nation,” said Dr. Carol Mangione, co-director of the RWJF Clinical Scholars Program and of the new program at UCLA.

The National Clinician Scholars Program will partner with organizations sponsoring a number of individual scholar positions and inter-professional training between nurses and physicians. The new program will provide opportunities for nurses and physicians to serve as full partners in health care redesign, improvement and research. It will include fundamental elements from the RWJF program such as high-quality mentoring, a tailored curriculum, clinical work and annual meetings.

“Best patient outcomes require nurses to be full partners in delivering the right care in the right settings,” said Linda Sarna, interim dean of the UCLA School of Nursing and co-director of the UCLA program. “The new National Clinician Scholars Program provides physicians and nurses the opportunity to work together to achieve better health outcomes.”

Partners at each institution will work directly with each scholar to identify and develop projects to solve current real-world problems and to cultivate the scholar’s unique research and leadership skills.

UCLA will work with a consortium of partner institutions called the UCLA Southern California Clinician Leaders Program. In addition to UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and School of Nursing, the consortium includes the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Greater Los Angeles Veterans Health System, and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, among others.

The consortium will identify regional health challenges and recruit scholars to address these challenges with the goal of eliminating health disparities in Los Angeles. It will implement programs to reduce wait times, save resources and improve patient outcomes. Research projects undertaken through the program will be embedded in the community so that scholars will be able to make a meaningful impact locally even as they receive their education.

The community-embedded projects make up the core of the two-year training experience; scholars also will partake in an innovative curriculum to build a robust set of skills in organizational and social change, applied translation research methodology, community engagement, program development and evaluation, team management, communication and leadership.

The RWJF Clinical Scholars Program made great strides in training leaders to serve as the workforce for change toward health improvement. The National Clinician Scholars Program honors that legacy by expanding on its important work.

More information, including instructions for applicants, can be found at www.nationalcsp.org.

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UC Irvine names dean of medicine


Georgetown Executive Vice President and Dean Howard Federoff will start July 1.

“I am quite excited to be joining UCI, which has a highly regarded history of medical care, education and research. I plan to bring a fresh perspective to this new position and guide our medical school and healthcare enterprise to new heights," Dr. Howard Federoff said. (Photo by Georgetown University Medical Center)

By Tom Vasich, UC Irvine

Dr. Howard Federoff – a nationally renowned clinical and research leader at Georgetown University and a groundbreaking investigator for neurological disorders – will join UC Irvine as vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

In this position, Federoff will oversee and guide the development of UC Irvine Health. In addition to leading the School of Medicine, he will provide strategic direction for the clinical programs of UC Irvine Medical Center and all affiliated patient care centers and will ensure the alignment of the clinical enterprise and the physicians’ practice plan with the university’s academic and research missions. He also will provide guidance on the development and integration of UCI’s health-related academic programs in nursing science, public health and pharmaceutical sciences. He will begin July 1.

At Georgetown, Federoff is the executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the School of Medicine. He is responsible for advancing the educational and research missions of Georgetown University Medical Center and working effectively with the leadership of MedStar Health, its clinical partner. GUMC is a $274 million biomedical research and educational organization that accounts for more than 85 percent of the university’s sponsored research funding.

“Howard brings unique and exceptional abilities to this position during an important moment in UCI’s distinguished story,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “UCI is one of America’s leading research universities, and UC Irvine Health is Orange County’s only academic medical center. Howard’s background, experience and leadership skills will ensure that UCI accelerates its contributions to human health and provides the people of this region with world-class patient care.”

“I am quite excited to be joining UCI, which has a highly regarded history of medical care, education and research,” Federoff said. “I plan to bring a fresh perspective to this new position and guide our medical school and healthcare enterprise to new heights.”

After earning master’s, doctoral and medical degrees from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, Federoff held clinical and academic positions at Einstein and the University of Rochester before joining Georgetown in 2007. Board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology & metabolism, he also has advanced research in the areas of gene therapy and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and prion diseases. He holds a number of medical patents, with several other patents pending.

Federoff was lead author of a 2014 study – which included UCI researchers – that discovered and validated a predictive blood test for those at risk for Alzheimer’s.

“We reviewed many excellent candidates over several months, and the search committee was unanimous in its enthusiasm and support for Howard. His unique combination of leadership and experience in research, education, the clinical enterprise and philanthropy ensures that UC Irvine Health will continue to grow in national stature and impact. We are delighted that he has chosen to join our team,” said Bruce Tromberg, professor and director of the Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic, who chaired the search committee.

“Dr. Federoff has demonstrable experience at one of the signature medical centers in the United States,” said Terry Belmont, CEO of UC Irvine Medical Center. “He is well-suited to assuming an important health care leadership position in Orange County, the region and the country.”

Federoff also will play a key role advancing philanthropic activities and community and industry partnerships for UC Irvine Health. He believes that patient-centered prevention, wellness and care delivery will be powered by the most compelling science.

“The current environment demands that we develop and translate our discoveries to promote wellness and deliver value-based medicine,” he said. “The health sciences, when effectively intertwined, enable providers to collaborate, ensuring that every patient receives the most compassionate and individualized care.”

“With his noteworthy accomplishments, Dr. Federoff will continue to enhance UCI’s growing achievements in advancing clinical and research breakthroughs that will improve and protect health, both in our community and around the globe,” said James Mazzo, chairman and CEO of AcuFocus and a UC Irvine Foundation trustee.

Federoff will replace Dr. Roger Steinert, the Irving H. Leopold Chair in Ophthalmology and director of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, who has served as interim dean of the School of Medicine since Dr. Ralph Clayman retired from the positon in July 2014.

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UC San Diego, Perdana partner to advance medical education, research


Collaboration with Malaysian university will bring opportunities for both institutions.

UC San Diego and Perdana University in Malaysia have announced a medical education partnership.

By Jackie Carr, UC San Diego

Officials of UC San Diego and Perdana University in Malaysia have announced a plan to collaborate on further development of the Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine (PUGSOM). UC San Diego was chosen from among the top schools of medicine in the United States to lead this initiative.

“UC San Diego has a long history of excellence in education, research and medicine,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our School of Medicine is ranked among the nation’s top graduate programs, and UC San Diego Health System has been ranked number one in San Diego for four consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. We are excited to share our expertise and knowledge in the power of academic medicine, and collaborate with Perdana University in joint research efforts.”

“Perdana University is delighted to work together with UC San Diego. This collaboration will bring tremendous opportunities to both institutions. This venture will drive Perdana University towards its goal of achieving international distinction as well as bring it recognition as an elite and successful academic institution,” said YABhg Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, chancellor of Perdana University.

The collaboration is designed to help Perdana University (PU) capitalize on the breadth and depth of UC San Diego’s experience in stimulating and helping to sustain San Diego’s status as a major research, health care and biotechnology hub.

“The 10-year joint collaboration will focus on enhancing and implementing a forward-thinking medical curriculum, a model for comprehensive patient care and a platform for innovative world-class research in Malaysia and Southeast Asia,” said David A. Brenner, M.D., vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the UC San Diego School of Medicine. “Opportunities for clinical research from a global health perspective will exist in many areas, including cardiovascular, neuroscience, tropical diseases, diabetes, cancer and trauma care.”

“This collaboration will help PU to achieve its vision of becoming a top-tier academic medical center serving the 21st century health care needs of Malaysia and the broader region,” said Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Mohan Swami, chairman of the Board of Governors of Perdana University. “It will also accelerate the growth of a vibrant biomedical research, biotechnology and pharmaceutical infrastructure, helping to elevate Malaysia as a global center for translational medicine.”

“This is an exciting and important collaboration that will benefit both universities through shared knowledge and expertise, and especially through joint research,” said Mounir Soliman, M.D., M.B.A., assistant vice chancellor and executive director of UC San Diego Health Sciences International. “Joint research will help improve health in Malaysia and empower Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine to train the future health care workforce. Perdana University is the first medical school in Malaysia to offer graduate entry medical education similar to the United States model.”

Professor Dato’ Sothi Rachagan, vice chancellor, and Ph.D. barrister of law of Perdana University also stated that UC San Diego Health Sciences will assist in creating and refining the organizational infrastructure and facilities necessary for the continued growth of the graduate medical school program, including faculty recruitment, academic program development, student enrollment and the advancement of research and clinical needs.

“We envision a collaboration that will facilitate two-way transfer of knowledge, operational expertise and accrued health care experience to the benefit of both institutions. We are committed to working closely with PU to listen, learn, then plan, and finally bring these plans to fruition,” said Soliman who will lead the planning and implementation of this venture.

The collaboration between UC San Diego and PUGSOM will include exchange of faculty, students and staff. Faculty members from UC San Diego will travel to PUGSOM as visiting faculty to facilitate collaborative educational and research programs. PUGSOM faculty members may travel to UC San Diego to gain valuable skills and knowledge.

“In addition to Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine’s strong education focus, there will be future opportunities for collaboration in biomedical research, including bioengineering and technology, as well as for planned new academic teaching facilities, which include a 600-bed hospital,” said Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Mohan Swami.

Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine was established in 2011 with the vision of contributing to the global community through the pursuit of excellence in education, research and service. PUGSOM is intended to promote intellectual discovery, generate and spread state-of-the art knowledge and be a center of excellence in medical education based on a graduate entry level approach. Perdana University was established as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative with the support of the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department.

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UCSF, CMC sign letter of intent to increase pediatric, women’s health services


Collaboration to expand services in Valley would build on foundation of existing relationship.

By Karin Rush-Monroe, UC San Francisco

UCSF Medical Center and Community Medical Centers (CMC) have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to expand women’s and children’s services to the Central Valley, which has an undersupply of specialists for a growing population. The collaboration also would broaden medical education services in the area.

CMC, a Fresno-based regional health system, owns and operates Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) and other licensed general acute care hospitals and outpatient centers in Fresno and Clovis that serve Fresno County and the surrounding counties.

“The delivery of health care is changing. We’re going to rely on medical information technology and strong alliances with private and academic physicians to more efficiently manage the health of entire families. This project with UCSF will be a key part of that,” said Craig Wagoner, CEO at Community Regional Medical Center.

The shared vision of CMC and UCSF includes development of a clinically integrated health system to facilitate better sharing of information in order to manage patient health; improved access to high-quality pediatric services in Fresno and surrounding communities; higher acuity pediatric services at CRMC to reduce the need for patients’ families to travel outside of Fresno; and increased integration of the academic and training missions of UCSF and CRMC.

An immediate goal for 2015 is to increase the availability of specialists at CRMC by this summer.

UCSF School of Medicine, which consistently is ranked among the nation’s top medical schools, has for decades operated a graduate medical education program in collaboration with Community, the San Joaquin Valley’s largest hospital organization.

About 300 UCSF medical residents and fellows currently practice on the Community Regional Medical Center campus, which is the Valley’s Level 1 trauma center. Pediatrics is one of 22 specialties currently offered in the Fresno-based graduate medical education program.

The collaboration among UCSF Fresno, CRMC and Valley Children’s Healthcare has afforded UCSF residents the ability to receive high-quality residency training across the entire spectrum of pediatric needs within a diverse set of clinical settings. UCSF remains firmly committed to maintaining and strengthening this long-time, top-ranked pediatric residency program for the benefit of patients, the community and the entire San Joaquin Valley.

“This is the next logical step in our relationship with Community,” said Michael Peterson, M.D., interim associate dean for UCSF Fresno. “The medical school is committed to serving the Valley, and our leadership team in San Francisco is excited about the opportunity to partner with the Community Regional Medical Center and build a leading-edge women’s and children’s program.”

“We have a great relationship with Fresno and the Central Valley, and this partnership with Community Medical Centers will strengthen that relationship,” said Stephen Wilson, M.D., Ph.D., associate chief medical officer for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. “This is an opportunity to better integrate our women’s and children’s services in the region and support UCSF’s mission to provide care to patients in areas that are underserved.”

UCSF has been providing services in Fresno for decades. Established in 1975 and now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program plays a substantial role in providing health care services to residents of California’s San Joaquin Valley and training medical professionals in the region. A clinical branch of UCSF, the Fresno medical education program has trained approximately one-third of Central San Joaquin Valley physicians.

Faculty and medical residents at UCSF Fresno engage in a broad spectrum of research addressing health issues pertinent to the Valley. Faculty and residents also care for the overwhelming majority of the region’s underserved populations at health care facilities like CRMC.

In addition, UCSF Fresno provides academic preparation programs for middle- and high school students interested in the health professions through the Junior Doctors Academy and the Doctors Academy. UCSF Fresno academically prepares students at Fresno State to become competitive applicants to health professional schools and ultimately aims to prepare them for careers in health and medicine. UCSF Fresno also is a key partner in the UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education.

The collaboration is anticipated to be finalized in the fall of 2015.

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Students resolve to give back


A UC Irvine student-run free clinic opens in Garden Grove to treat underserved patients.

A new, student-run free clinic opens in Garden Grove to treat underserved patients. (Photo by Zach Ferguson, UC Irvine)

By Laura Rico, UC Irvine

Along with losing the holiday waistline and upping the exercise quotient, UC Irvine Anteaters are making resolutions of a different nature this New Year. They’re pledging to make a difference in their communities, and a shining example is the launch of a student-run teaching health clinic in Garden Grove.

Under the supervision of Dr. Baotran Vo, a family medicine and primary care specialist with UC Irvine Health, first- and second-year UCI medical students will staff the clinic. Undergrads will shadow the medical students and handle administrative duties, such as ordering supplies.

Students raised funds to open the free clinic – which began as an undergraduate club project – partly by selling banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches), hot dogs and hot chocolate on Ring Mall.

Garden Grove residents and UCI students and faculty celebrated the Lestonnac Free Clinic’s grand opening Dec. 13 at the Garden Grove United Methodist Church.

Open every other Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the clinic is at 12747 Main St.

The effort is just one of many ways UCI is serving the community. The campus recently launched its Fifty for 50 program to promote volunteerism and civic engagement. Participants pledge to donate 50 or more hours of their time and talent over the university’s two-year 50th anniversary period.

The goal is to reach 50,000 hours of volunteer service. Students at the Garden Grove free clinic are off to a healthy start!

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UCLA medical school receives unrestricted $50M gift


Bequest from Irma and Norman Switzer estate creates new fund to advance medicine, health.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said the gift stands as “an enduring legacy of two people who clearly cared about the future of medicine and science.”

An unrestricted gift of $50 million to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA from the estate of Irma and Norman Switzer was announced Nov. 12 at a gathering of faculty, staff members, the school’s board of visitors and friends of the Switzer family.

“This exceptionally generous gift is an enduring legacy of two people who clearly cared about the future of medicine and science,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “The university is honored to be the steward of such a transformative bequest.”

As a tribute to the couple, the UCLA Center for Health Sciences Plaza, where the announcement was made, was renamed the Irma and Norman Switzer Plaza.

“The Switzers’ extraordinary gift will immediately strengthen the work of our faculty and eventually benefit countless patients,” said Dr. A. Eugene Washington, vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

“The Switzers, who were very humble people, would be gratified to know that the proceeds from their estate are going to advance medicine and health in such a profound way — and that this beautiful plaza, through which so many patients, physicians, scientists and students pass on a daily basis, will bear their names,” said Theodore Wolfberg, the Switzers’ attorney and friend.

Norman Switzer passed away in 2011 at the age of 84, and Irma died in 2013 at the age of 93. The couple were longtime residents of Pacific Palisades.

A veteran of the Korean War, Norman Switzer devised the concept of adding benches to bus stops throughout Los Angeles. In exchange for funding the bus benches, the city awarded his company, Norman Bench Advertising, a 20-year exclusive on advertising. He later sold the business and became a real estate investor. Irma Switzer, an accomplished weaver and member of the Palisades Weavers group, physically built two homes in Manhattan Beach with a friend. The couple was involved with the Fowler Museum at UCLA and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

“The Switzers’ selflessness manifested in many ways; UCLA’s recognition of their remarkable philanthropy in this vibrant and dynamic space is the highest honor they could ever have imagined,” said Arlynne Siegel, managing director and Los Angeles regional director of the personal trust department of MUFG Union Bank and trustee of the Switzers’ trust.

The bequest will advance medicine and health and will count toward The Centennial Campaign for UCLA, a $4.2 billion fundraising campaign, which was formally launched in May 2014 and is scheduled to conclude in 2019, the campus’s 100th year.

“The forethought the Switzers demonstrated by including UCLA Health Sciences in their estate plans illustrates the generosity that is their legacy,” said Kathryn Carrico, UCLA’s assistant vice chancellor for health sciences development.

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Student conference opens doors to health care professions


UC Davis hosting national pre-medical, pre-health conference Oct. 11-12.

Leading voices in health care and some 8,000 pre-health and pre-medical students will meet to explore the future of health care and how the students can join and influence the professions at the University of California, Davis, Oct. 11-12.

Keynote speakers at the 12th annual UC Davis Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Professional National Conference — the largest conference of its kind in the country — include:

  • United States Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the Pavilion;
  • U.S. Navy Surgeon General Matthew Nathan at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Pavilion;
  • California Department of Public Health Director Ronald Chapman at 10 a.m. Saturday in Rock Hall;
  • American Medical Association CEO James L. Madara;
  • National Hispanic Medical Association President and CEO Elena V. Rios;
  • American Osteopathic Association  President Robert S. Juhasz;
  • Harvey Fineberg, former president of the Institute of Medicine; and
  • presidents and CEOs of leading national organizations in the health professions.

See the complete list.

Making welcoming remarks at 8 a.m. Saturday in the Pavilion on the Davis campus will be Adela de la Torre, vice chancellor of Student Affairs at UC Davis, and UC President Janet Napolitano.

“At the University of California, we want to empower students from across our state to discover and achieve their dreams in health care and contribute to the care and welfare of their communities and society as a whole,” Napolitano said. “This conference is an opportunity for young students to spark their passions in the medical fields.”

With the theme of “Empowering the Next Generation of Health Care Professionals,” the conference aims to introduce students to careers and educational opportunities in health care and help them achieve their goals.

The conference is organized by the UC Davis Pre-Health Student Alliance with the support of de la Torre’s office. The alliance is a partnership of pre-medical and pre-health student organizations, fraternities and sororities at UC Davis and other colleges in Sacramento. More than 400 students from throughout the region serve as leaders and volunteers for the conference.

Among those attending are high school, community college and university students; school counselors; and parents.

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