New medical residency program to launch valley services

A new family medicine residency program in the Coachella Valley plans to begin a series of wellness community service efforts in the next year reaching out to local students and also some of the valley's most underserved.

The UC Riverside School of Medicine residency, created in partnership with Desert Regional Medical Center and the Desert Healthcare District, will operate out of a new, two-story facility in the Las Palmas medical plaza where seven full-time faculty already offer care and more than 80 volunteer professors will descend. Its 20 exam rooms, two procedure rooms and smart classroom will fill up this July with the inaugural class of eight medical residents — which will total up to 24 residents by its third year. The program was borne out of an effort to reduce the severe primary care shortage that has seen doctor-to-patient ratios as low as 1 doctor per 9,000 residents in parts of the valley.

The residents will offer care such as basic health screenings and biopsies and be trained by specialists in fields such as orthopedic surgery and ob-gyn. But their role will grow outside of the clinic as well, as leaders launch a new street/backpack medicine program, health education for obese students and sexual health education for ninth graders within Palm Springs Unified School District.

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