FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In this UCSF Fresno lecture hall the physicians of tomorrow are being taught, soon more medical residents will fill seats and they will have access to additional resources. The medical campus recently received a $3.375 million grant from the Physicians for a Healthy California foundation. The money is helping meet the major demand for physicians in the Central Valley.
"Currently we remain the lowest ratio of physicians to population in the state of California," said Associate Dean Michael Peterson. "It is somewhere less than half of the bay area and about half of what the Los Angeles area has."
Peterson said the grant will help them add additional residents, fund other programs and expand staff support to improve education. It could also help retain professionals in the Valley.
"Being able to recruit those students out of medical schools to come here and do their residencies and fellowships who grew up in this region, will increase the number of physicians that will stay in the region," he said.
According to Peterson, the growing population has resulted in that increased need. Widespread communities throughout the region could also be a factor. Resident Michele Maison- Fomotar is originally from Cameroon, West Africa. She is now staying in Fresno in hopes of being part of the solution.
"There are many underserved people here and the physician population is really small and especially the infections and diseases are even less, so I am really excited to stay here," she said.
Braden Lind has also found a home in the valley, which he says needs the help.
"People say you will see things here, you will see diseases here, you will see people here who need your help that you won't see anywhere else, but here it is true," said Lind.
The grant is a one time use and will be divided up and used over four years.