Written by The Business Journal Staff
Four UCSF Fresno residency programs received a combined $2.15 million over the span of three years from the Office of Statewide Health and Planning to expand and train the physician workforce in underserved areas.
The grants are part of the Song-Brown Health Care Workforce Training Act, or the Song-Brown Program, which aims to increase the number of students and residents receiving quality primary care training in needy areas of California.
“We are extremely pleased to receive this funding,” said Dr. Lori Weichenthal, assistant dean for Graduate Medical Education at UCSF Fresno. “UCSF Fresno was established to address the shortage of physicians in the San Joaquin Valley. About half of UCSF Fresno graduates remain in the region to provide care. Still, more physicians are needed. These awards are recognition of our progress and they position UCSF Fresno to continue training and retaining physicians for our underserved region.”
The UCSF Fresno Family and Community Medicine Residency Program received $1.075 million in the funding, while the Internal Medicine Residency Program received $825,000. A further $125,00 went to the UCSF Fresno Pediatrics and the Obstetrics/Gynecology programs each received $125,000. Together, these four programs train more than 140 physicians per year.
“The Song-Brown funding from the state is an important supplement to federal funding for graduate medical education,” said Dr. Michael W. Peterson, the associate dean at UCSF Fresno. “Without this state support, UCSF Fresno would not be able to expand the number of physicians being trained in the Valley for the Valley.”
According to the Healthforce Center at UCSF, the San Joaquin Valley has just 133 physicians per 100,000 population compared to the average state rate of 222 per 100,000.
The funding will support the new residency positions in Family and Community Medicine and Internal Medicine, along with infrastructure and educational support to all four programs.