TAG: "Medical education"

Medical students celebrate their matches

Graduating students learn where their careers as doctors will start.

UC Davis medical student Alexis Gaskin matched to Howard University.

Jumps for joy. Hugs for happiness.

March 21 was a day to celebrate for more than 650 University of California medical students: Match Day 2014, when future doctors found out which hospital accepted them for residency to get advanced training in their chosen specialty.

“This day is like all my dreams come true,” said Alexis Gaskin, a fourth-year UC Davis medical student from Vacaville, who matched in orthopedics at Howard University in Washington, D.C.  “Being able to visualize it [the match letter], to see it in my hand is really a dream come true.”

UC Irvine medical student Givenchy Manzano is embraced by his mother, Mary Jane Manzano, as his brother Wilfred looks on.

At UC Davis, 96 graduating medical students matched. At UC Irvine, 100 students matched. At UCLA, 183 students matched. UC San Diego had 116 students match. UC San Francisco had 157 students match.

This year, more than 16,000 U.S. allopathic medical school seniors matched to first-year residency positions – a match rate of 94.4 percent. 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 allopathic 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 40,000 individuals applied for nearly 30,000 residency slots across the country.

UCLA's Sarah Neyssani will do her residency at Harbor-UCLA Med Center.

While UC students matched with residency programs across the country, around two-thirds will stay in California for their training, including at UC medical centers, helping to address local needs for physicians. More than 69 percent of the physicians who do residency training in California remain in the state to practice – the nation’s highest retention rate.

“I could not be happier with where I matched, and am so excited to go on this adventure with these amazing people,” said UC San Francisco graduating medical student Gabe Sudario, who will continue at UC San Francisco for his residency.

UC San Diego medical students pinpoint their matches

“We are all nervous about Match Day,” said Inga Wilder, a senior at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “It’s the uncertainty. You can’t plan anything. But I am graduating. I am going to be a doctor in a couple months. I can’t complain.”

Wilder, 30, has reason to be proud. She grew up in Compton, and she and her brother, who joined her at Match Day, were the first in their family to graduate from college. Wilder, a high school valedictorian, went to UC Berkeley and originally planned to get a Ph.D. in microbiology before experience in a lab convinced her she was “more of a people person.”

To break up the tension of the day, many of UCSF's medical students dressed up in costumes, including Gabe Sudario (center in green) who landed a residency at UCSF.

Standing beside her brother, she opened her envelope and smiled: “I got my first choice,” she beamed, a residency in full-spectrum family medicine at the Ventura County Medical Center, helping underserved communities.

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Bill proposes new pathway for more physicians

UC co-sponsors bill introduced by Bonilla.

Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla’s office issued the following press release today (March 11):

Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla, in partnership with the University of California and the Medical Board of California, has introduced legislation to allow graduates of accelerated and fully accredited medical education programs to become licensed physicians in California. By creating this pathway, students will have the opportunity to incur less student debt while becoming dedicated, well-trained physicians.

“We have a growing shortage of trained medical residents and physicians to meet the demands of our communities,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla. “In addition, the accumulation of student debt is overwhelming to many students seeking to become physicians. By creating this new pathway, we can begin to reduce the growing shortage and provide the opportunity for students to graduate with less student debt.”

Medical schools in New York and Texas have developed accelerated programs that produce graduates in three years by focusing more on the medical students’ skills and academic achievement, rather than on the time spent in medical school itself. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, there is no evidence that four years of medical school enhances clinical skills or the quality of patient care. In addition, for many students, the fourth year of medical school is focused almost entirely on electives and applying for residency. Furthermore, the Washington Post cites that students that have graduated from shortened medical programs perform just as highly on board examinations and placements in residency programs.

“The Medical Board of California is pleased to co-sponsor AB 1838 with the University of California Office of the President. The Medical Board’s mission includes the promotion of access to quality medical care through the Medical Board’s licensing and regulatory functions,” said Medical Board of California’s executive director, Kimberly Kirchmeyer. “We believe that this legislation will meet the needs of the applicants who are enrolling in these programs and will still fulfill the Medical Board’s mission of consumer protection and access to care.”

The University of California operates six of California’s nine M.D.-granting medical schools and provides specialty training for nearly half of the state’s medical residents. “As a major provider of medical education in the state, the University of California believes this change in law is straightforward and will benefit the state by reducing unnecessary and out-dated barriers to practice in the state,” said Dr. Cathryn Nation, UC associate vice president for health sciences. “AB 1838 will benefit not only the future graduates of UC Davis’ new, accelerated M.D. degree program (which plans to enroll its first class of four students in summer 2014), but, also all graduates of any accelerated program offered by an LCME-accredited medical school.”

Assemblywoman Bonilla’s legislation, AB 1838, will allow graduates of accelerated medical education programs accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools to have a path to licensure in California. The bill is co-sponsored by the Medical Board of California and the University of California.

Media contact:
Ryan Morimune
Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla
(916) 319-2014

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A night at the UCSF Homeless Clinic

First-year medical student describes volunteer experience.

At the UCSF Homeless Clinic, students work with preceptors to provide medical care for some of the men and women who need it most in San Francisco.

By Jeffrey Chen

The first time I go to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Francisco, I leave my white coat at home.

The Society provides shelter for over 400 transient men and women each night. It’s also the location of the UCSF Homeless Clinic, which is where I’m headed tonight, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. Many of the men and women who come to the clinic have had negative experiences with healthcare providers in the past. A white coat may be the last thing they want to see.

People come to this shelter in the South of Market neighborhood to find reprieve from the vicious cycles of homelessness, violence and substance abuse that they encounter on the streets. Here, they are able to get help, whether it’s to find permanent housing, employment, education, or simply a warm bed to stay for the night and food to sustain them through the day.

And since 1992, on every Tuesday and Thursday night, these men and women have been able to get free medical care right at the shelter.

Jeffrey Chen, a first-year medical student at UC San Francisco

Since its founding 22 years ago, the UCSF Homeless Clinic has drawn medical students and local community physicians to volunteer their time caring for the patients most in need in San Francisco. Since then, the clinic has expanded to include nursing, pharmacy, premedical and even law students.

The clinic draws student volunteers from UCSF schools of medicine, nursing and pharmacy, as well as premedical students from the University of San Francisco and law students from the UC Hastings College of the Law.

Each group has their role: pharmacy students, for example, will help patients go over their medication lists and help them figure out how to stick to their regimens, while premedical students will help coordinate referrals to San Francisco General Hospital, the Tom Waddell Clinic or other local health centers that focus on care for indigent populations.

Because some patients have needs that are hard for the biweekly general clinic to address, students now also hold a dermatology clinic one Tuesday a month and a women’s clinic 1-2 Sundays a month.

As we walk in the doors of the shelter, our stethoscopes set off the metal detectors, loudly declaring our arrival. Before we cross the room to set up shop, a few residents approach us, asking if they can be seen. One man needs help with his diarrhea, which has been keeping him up at night; another with his swollen, painful toe.

Matt Bald, a second-year student and veteran volunteer assures them that we’ll be back to check on them as soon as we’re set up. I will be shadowing Matt throughout this night.

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NEH awards $100K for health humanities program

UC Riverside medical school, humanities faculty collaborate to improve doctor-patient communication.

"Untitled" by Kaza Faust, UC Riverside Ph.D. student in archaeology

Every patient has a story to tell about their illness, their fears and why a prescription for treatment may be difficult to follow. How doctors and patients understand and communicate those stories can be life-altering in making accurate diagnoses, adhering to treatment or accepting an unwelcome prognosis.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded UC Riverside $100,000 to develop a health humanities program focused on the role of stories in medicine and healing. The two-year, interdisciplinary grant will fund a collaboration of humanities scholars and School of Medicine faculty in an effort to identify how narrative can best be integrated into training medical students.

“Narrative medicine plays a role in creating empathy in doctor-patient encounters,” said Juliet McMullin, associate professor of anthropology and principal investigator of the research project. “If we’re trying to create physicians who are knowledgeable about the community, they need to have conversations with patients that get to the core of their needs.”

The grant is part of the NEH’s Humanities Initiatives at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). HSIs are nonprofit, degree-granting institutions where at least 25 percent of full-time undergraduate students are Hispanic. The U.S. Department of Education named UCR an HSI in 2008, the first in the UC system to receive the honor.

“Latinos are a steadily evolving population in the U.S., and it is therefore crucial to foster a sense of cultural fluency among medical professionals and researchers,” said Tiffany Ana López, holder of the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair, professor of theater and a co-principal investigator on the project. “The humanities play a crucial role in developing creative and agile approaches to communication that extends to health care, program development and problem solving generally.”

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UC Riverside’s family medicine residency program receives accreditation

Program in Palm Springs will receive its first eight residents in July 2015.

Gemma Kim

The UC Riverside School of Medicine residency training program in family medicine, in partnership with Desert Regional Medical Center, has received accreditation and will accept its first residents for the three-year training program in July 2015.

The program – designed and located in Palm Springs to help address the shortage of primary care physicians in the Coachella Valley – was granted accreditation in late January by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the national body responsible for post-M.D. training programs in the U.S.

Family medicine is a primary care medical specialty in which physicians provide comprehensive medical care to patients of all ages and, increasingly, coordinate patients’ care by subspecialists. It is estimated that the area of the Coachella Valley served by Desert Regional Medical Center has a 50 percent shortage of family medicine physicians.

“Family medicine will remain pivotal in addressing the health care needs of both our region and our nation,” said Dr. Gemma Kim, program director of the medical school’s family medicine residency training program in Palm Springs. “We hope to expand access and strengthen primary care in the Coachella Valley while providing personalized care of the highest quality that is patient-, family- and community-centered.”

Residents will train primarily at Desert Regional Medical Center and the UCR Health Family Medicine Center adjacent to the medical center. The three-year program will enroll eight residents each year, meaning there will be a total of 24 residents when the family medicine program is fully developed. Eight family physicians will graduate from the residency program each year starting in 2018.

“The approval of the UCR residency program at Desert Regional Medical Center is such an exciting event for our hospital, as we continue to grow as an academic medical center,” said Carolyn Caldwell, president and chief executive officer of Desert Regional Medical Center. “The physician faculty of UCR Health have already provided a wonderful resource to patients through the primary care offices they have opened on our campus. They are already making a difference in helping to solve the primary care physician shortage in our valley.”

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Students learn by doing good

Global children’s oral health, nutrition program helps stem tooth decay around the world.

Global Children's Oral Health and Nutrition ProgramEvery year since 2010, Dr. Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, Dr. Susan Ivey and a group of students have taken toothbrushes, toothpaste, and a big pink and white model of teeth to Latin America and, since 2011, Asia. There, they teach communities about nutrition and oral health. The Global Children’s Oral Health and Nutrition Program was created to stem the epidemic rise in tooth decay in developing countries around the world. Sokal-Gutierrez is an associate clinical professor and Ivey an associate adjunct professor in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Both teach in the UC Berkeley-UC San Francisco Joint Medical Program.

The program began in El Salvador in 2003, where Sokal-Gutierrez noticed a trend in tooth decay of children up to 6 years old. Since then, the program has expanded to Nepal, India, Vietnam, Ecuador and Peru. Sokal-Gutierrez and Ivey estimate that the program has served about 10,000 children and their parents since its inception. But the Children’s Oral Health and Nutrition Program has also made another big impact, this time on the UC Berkeley campus: bringing transformative experiences to students launching their careers in public health, medicine and dentistry.

“How can we do our best to improve the health of children, and how can we do our best to mentor the students and give them this good hands-on opportunity?” asks Sokal-Gutierrez. “I’m always trying to pay attention to both of those things.”

In the decade since it began, nearly 200 volunteers have participated in the program. Most are UC Berkeley undergraduates who plan to pursue careers in public health, medicine, and dentistry. They also include graduate students and professionals from the fields of medicine, dentistry and public health. Additionally, Sokal-Gutierrez and Ivey often seek out students whose families emigrated from countries where this program might be needed. It offers a chance for students to connect abstract concepts to real-world scenarios, take on positions of leadership, and be mentors in medicine and public health.

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Apple honors UC Irvine’s iMedEd Initiative

Medical education iPad program named an Apple Distinguished Program.

With their iPads, UC Irvine medical students have at their fingertips all the information they need to read, study and participate in the classroom and in clinical training.

With their iPads, UC Irvine medical students have at their fingertips all the information they need to read, study and participate in the classroom and in clinical training.

The iMedEd Initiative – UC Irvine’s innovative medical education iPad program – has been recognized as a 2013-15 Apple Distinguished Program. The initiative joins a select group of exemplary learning environments being recognized nationwide. The Apple Distinguished Program designation is awarded for  innovation, leadership and educational excellence, and demonstration of  clear vision.

“The iMedEd Initiative is truly groundbreaking for its innovative, digital-based educational platform that conforms to the 21st century learning styles and needs of students throughout the world,” said Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of the UC Irvine School of Medicine. “We’re honored that Apple has recognized our achievements for a second time.”

The iMedEd Initiative is reinventing the traditional medical school curriculum. It was the first to build a completely digital, interactive, tablet-based learning environment – which includes portable ultrasound clinical training – and continues to lead in adapting emerging technologies for all aspects of medical education. This academic year, the entire four-year curriculum has been placed on iPad, giving UC Irvine one of the first all-digital program medical schools in the nation.

Since 2010, when the initiative was launched, incoming UC Irvine medical students have received fully loaded iPads, putting at their fingertips all the information they need to read, study or review. This multimedia approach accommodates all modes of learning, especially small group sessions.

The iMedEd Initiative is fully supported by the John and Mary Tu Scholarship Fund, which finances the purchase of  iPads and a complete library of digital textbooks for all incoming UC Irvine medical students. The iMedEd Initiative was also recognized as a 2012-13 Apple Distinguished Program.

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University of Texas taps UCSF neurologist to lead new medical school

Clay Johnston to become inaugural dean of medical school at University of Texas at Austin.

Clay Johnston

Clay Johnston

Clay Johnston, M.D., Ph.D., a physician-scientist who expanded UC San Francisco’s patient-centered research through his leadership of the Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the new Center for Healthcare Value, is leaving at the end of February to become the inaugural dean of the Dell School of Medicine at The University of Texas at Austin.

A neurologist and epidemiologist, as well as associate vice chancellor for research, Johnston has been at UCSF since his residency 20 years ago. He has published widely in his field – the prevention and treatment of stroke and transient ischemic attack – and treats patients with cerebral aneurysms, vascular malformations and stroke, in addition to directing the hospital stroke service.

Johnston is the principal investigator of a $112 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health aimed at helping scientists bring experimental research into the clinic.

“Clay has played a singular role in UCSF’s drive to accelerate translational research to improve human health,” said Jeffrey Bluestone, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor/provost at UCSF. “He’s a steady and unflappable leader, and this, along with his research acumen, has enabled UCSF to forge critical partnerships in the biotech industry and with foundations and private funders.”

Deborah Grady

Deborah Grady

Johnston, who received his medical degree from Harvard and did his internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, said UCSF was a great training ground for him, and it will continue to be a place where those he mentored and supervised can develop.

“I’m proud of what the people of CTSI have done in the last few years,” he said. “I hate to leave such a strong team and so many great teachers and friends but know that in a place like UCSF their work will only accelerate.  ”

In his new job, he will be building a medical school and hospital, literally from the ground up. The first class of students will enter in the fall of 2016.

CTSI’s co-director, Deborah Grady, M.D., M.P.H., will become interim director of the CTSI. Grady is a professor of medicine, as well as epidemiology and biostatistics. She directs the UCSF/Mount Zion Women’s Health Clinical Research Center and the UCSF Women’s Health Faculty Development Program.

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New medical specialty aimed at harnessing data to improve patient care

Clinical informatics is first new board-certified specialty in 20 years.

Patient dataA new specialty in clinical informatics has been launched at UC San Francisco, addressing the growing need to harness the power of massive quantities of patient information in the era of precision medicine and health care reform.

This new board certification is designed to educate doctors on how to collect, synthesize and present data to deliver patient care more safely and effectively.

The select group of pioneering physicians who will receive the first national board certification in Clinical Informatics includes pediatric hospitalist Seth Bokser, M.D., medical director for information technology at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Awarded by the American Board of Preventive Medicine, the certification recognizes the increasingly vital role that the science and practice of informatics plays in health care.

Clinical informatics was recognized as a medical subspecialty in 2011 by the American Board of Medical Specialties, and is the first new board-certified medical specialty in 20 years.

“Health care is an information-management business,” said Bokser. “It has always been, but we have finally reached a new era where we are harnessing the power of IT to take in, organize, retrieve, analyze, reason and report on the data for individual patients and populations.”

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New grants to advance career opportunities for young scientists

UC Davis, UCSF two of 10 academic institutions nationwide to receive NIH BEST awards.

Fred Meyers, UC Davis

Fred Meyers, UC Davis

As part of a national effort to broaden scientific training opportunities for young scientists and engineers and better prepare them for a wide variety of careers, the National Institutes of Health has awarded UC Davis a five-year, $1.7 million grant to support the Frontiers of University Training to Unlock the Research Enterprise (FUTURE) program   ̶ a campuswide effort that will expand academic offerings, internships and other experiential learning in the biomedical sciences for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. UC San Francisco also received one of the NIH Director’s Broadening Experience in Scientific Training (BEST) awards.

UC Davis and UCSF are two of only 10 academic institutions nationwide to receive this first-of-its-kind funding.

“Traditionally, training and career development have been narrowly focused on academic research,” said Fred Meyers, executive associate dean at the UC Davis School of Medicine and one of three principal investigators of the FUTURE program. “But graduate students and postdoctoral scientists need opportunities to develop new skills to enjoy successful careers in today’s diverse employment market. The FUTURE program will provide more opportunities to gain these important skills, increase satisfaction among scholars in training and develop scientists who are well-prepared for the workforce and can make the world a better place to live.”

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Being the change

Unique medical school program at UC Davis links community health with individual health.

UC Davis' TEACH-MS program is a natural fit for first-year medical student Diego Vargas, who wants to help both individuals and their communities.

UC Davis' TEACH-MS program is a natural fit for first-year medical student Diego Vargas, who wants to help both individuals and their communities.

For Diego Vargas, the “aha moment” came when he was as an undergraduate working in one of UC Davis’ student-run health clinics, serving primarily uninsured and often undocumented patients. Originally from Peru, and an undocumented immigrant himself, Vargas witnessed how health care disparities damage low-income communities in California.

“I saw a lot of poverty in Peru but couldn’t even imagine there were similar situations in the U.S.,” says Vargas. “Seeing this for the first time shocked me and made me think about why I wanted to become a doctor. It really pushed me in my studies.”

Vargas is now a first-year medical student in the Transforming Education and Community Health for Medical Students (TEACH-MS) Program at UC Davis, which prepares a new generation of physicians to care for medically underserved residents in urban settings. Six students are enrolled in the program, now in its third year at UC Davis.

The program is a natural fit for Vargas, who wants to help both individuals and their communities.

“In an urban environment, you can’t simply treat patients in isolation,” Vargas says. “You have to understand where they’re coming from – where they live.”

While the program is strong in fundamental medical education, it goes the extra mile to teach students how to disseminate health information while being sensitive to cultural and economic obstacles.

“We’re trying to bring specific health messages to entire communities,” says Vargas. “By addressing issues in the community, we hope that will narrow down to the individual. But it has to be realistic. If we emphasize nutrition, we can’t tell people to eat foods that are out of their price range.”

Given the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, nutritional education is high on the list. But there are other health issues that disproportionately strike urban neighborhoods such as cancer, heart disease and drug abuse. The program provides students with the tools to address these issues on both the community and individual levels to improve overall health.

“We are looking at the community and saying, ‘Okay, what can we do to help this person and also help the many others who are just like him?’,” says Vargas.

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Medical education team wins worldwide design challenge

UCSF team a winner in OpenIDEO/Mayo Clinic Challenge.

Emma Kahn, a longtime volunteer at UC San Francisco Medical Center, brightens the day of patient Robert Watson. (Photo by Susan Merrell, UCSF)

Emma Kahn, a longtime volunteer at UC San Francisco Medical Center, brightens the day of patient Robert Watson.

“How might we all maintain well-being and thrive as we age?”

This question was posed in a worldwide OpenIDEO/Mayo Clinic Challenge that produced 133 concepts and eventually six winners, including a team from UC San Francisco.

UCSF’s team ranked in the top three in terms of popularity and number of views to its proposal.

“Nine medical education staff decided to take on the challenge and over the course of two months they participated in a worldwide community who were inspiring, ideating, prototyping and refining solutions to the challenge,” said Kevin Souza, M.S., associate dean for medical education at UCSF. “Eventually the team coalesced around the solution titled ‘More than just a doctor’s visit, a bridge to wellness,’ which proposes a different approach to the learner-patient health care visit.”

The nine members of the UCSF group, all from the medical education staff in the School of Medicine, envisioned reshaping a doctor’s visit by creating a wellness team. Consisting of medical students and senior volunteers, the team members would serve as coaches for aging community members in inpatient settings, where they could talk about everything from prevention and nutrition to depression and other mental or emotional issues.

“My overall goal is to empower the staff to look at the system around them,” Souza said. “For example, if you’re at the front desk at the Student Affairs Center, how could it be better? We started training our staff in these skills, and I started looking for ways to practice them. This challenge came up and it was health-related, which fit beautifully with our focus.”

Souza invited his entire staff to participate if they wished. The nine members of the final team brought diverse skills and backgrounds. Their work is also directly tied into the UCSF Bridges Curriculum now being designed, which will allow medical students to learn systems improvement skills and work on quality improvement projects.

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