A program to train doctors in the central San Joaquin Valley has funding from the state to expand.
The UC Davis-UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education, called SJV PRIME, has received $1.855 million in state funding to increase the program from eight students a year to 12.
The program, established in 2011, is a collaboration among the University of California at Davis School of Medicine, UC Merced, UCSF and UCSF-Fresno to train the next generation of San Joaquin Valley doctors. Students with diverse backgrounds from the Valley are recruited for the program.
Angel Mendoza, a SJV PRIME medical student from Livingston, was attending school in Southern California but missed the Valley and wanted to come home to be trained as a doctor. “I felt it would really prepare me to be the doctor I want to become,” Mendoza said.
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Dr. Michael Peterson, UCSF-Fresno associate dean, said Thursday that funding from the Legislature provides ongoing support for the program. There are six PRIME programs in the UC system, and SJV PRIME was the only one to get funding to expand, he said.
Many of the students are from disadvantaged backgrounds. UC Merced covers the cost of apartments for third-year students, but other expenses are not covered. A scholarship fund has been started for the students, Peterson said.