MERCED — Six students from the San Joaquin Valley are on their way to becoming physicians as part of the third group of the UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education.
The cohort includes two students from Turlock, one from Winton, one from Fresno and two from Merced.
The program combines the resources of the UC Davis School of Medicine, the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program and UC Merced to train physicians interested in practicing in the valley.
The program is the sixth and most recent addition to the University of California's medical education programs, officials said. University of California campuses at Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco also have medical education programs.
UC Merced officials said there are 17 students enrolled in the program, which represents a cost-effective way to ramp up medical expertise in the region.
The program's inaugural group of medical students is now at UCSF Fresno, where they are receiving training in a six-month clinical course.
Each of the students in the program have committed to caring for the underserved communities in the region after completing medical school, officials said.