Saturday, August 5, 2017

University of California Riverside Welcomes 5th class of medical students

Last night, University of California Riverside welcomed its 5th class of medical students. UCR had been nurturing many generations of physicians for over 3 decades as part of the original UCR/UCLA Biomedical Sciences Program, a 7 year BS/MD program designed to attract motivated and stellar students to Riverside. The program and the faculty that ran the program were outstanding.  Provided the increasing clinical need,  UCR started its own medical school to attract physicians to serve in the Inland Empire four years ago. UCR is a community centered medical enterprise. It does not have a standalone hospital but instead collaborates with local hospitals and clinics, following the model of Harvard and its collaboration of the Harvard-affiliated hospitals. Although UCR Health does not have a hospital, it does have four outpatient clinics. There is one sub-specialty clinic, The Citrus Tower, which opened last year which serves neurology and neurosurgical clinical needs.   A larger, multidisciplinary outpatient center is projected open in five years which is expected to provide limited radiology services.

Since the inception of the medical school, multiple UCR Health residency programs have started including OB-GYN, internal medicine, general surgery, and psychiatry.  The medical enterprise electronic medical record system follows the remainder of the UC campuses, Epic.

I was part of the original UCR/UCLA Biomedical Sciences Program (graduating class of 2007) and many of the graduates have returned to join the faculty to teach and/or practice medicine at UCR, including the current CEO Michael Nduati, MD who was 3 years senior to me when I was a freshman at UCR in 2001.  UCR is a jewel with ripe fertile soil for growth and development. What I love and continue to love most about UCR are the people and culture. It reminds me of a big family. The students are the children and the faculty and staff are the parents who nurture the children.  There is respect at all levels and between different relationships. Despite this culture, there is high level of excellence and standard that is maintained and practiced. I'm really excited to return and teach the students and help them grow as UCR has done for me. I was very proud last night to watch the fifth class of students walk on the stage to receive their white coats and start a long but rewarding journey.

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