Stanford, Valley Children’s Hospital creating doctor residency – Fresno Bee

Valley Children’s Hospital announced Wednesday morning it is joining with Stanford University School of Medicine to create a residency program for the Madera County hospital.

The graduate education program at Valley Children’s will train doctors to be pediatricians and pediatric sub specialists, officials from the hospital said at a news conference.

The new program raises questions about any ongoing relationship between Valley Children’s and the University of California at San Francisco, which has has a 40-year partnership with the hospital. UCSF-Fresno pediatric residents currently split their training time between Valley Children’s and Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno, operated by Community Medical Centers.

Dr. David Christensen, chief medical officer at Valley Children’s, said that for now UCSF-Fresno residents in training will continue to have a place to train at Valley Children’s and so would interns coming into the program. “They will have a choice to do electives here,” he said.

But Community Medical Centers and Valley Children’s have been at loggerheads over control of pediatric patients in the central San Joaquin Valley and now the two will be competing to train doctors.

Valley Children’s revealed in January that it had plans to create its own graduate education program, and later that month Community Medical Centers and UCSF-Fresno said they were joining forces to expand pediatric speciality services and pediatric medical education.

On Wednesday, Dr. Michael Peterson, interim dean at UCSF-Fresno, said Wednesday’s announcement of a partnership between Valley Children’s and Stanford came as no surprise. “But it’s still profoundly disappointing,” he said. “We haven’t changed our opinion that having two competing training programs — competing for quality faculty, patients and clinical training sites — is not going to be good for this community.”

Valley Children’s officials said Wednesday the new training program would increase patients’ access to doctors in the Valley, which is a medically underserved area. “Our aim is to train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists with the eye on more access,” said CEO Todd Suntrapak. “That will be at the core of our new residency program.”

The first Valley Children’s Pediatric Residency Program class should start in July 2017, said Dr. Jolie Limon, introduced Wednesday as the hospital’s chief of pediatrics who will lead the new program. Limon joined Valley Children’s as a hospitalist in 2000. Each class will have 13 residents when fully implemented, she said.

The three-year residency program at Valley Children’s will include rotations at Saint Agnes Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center-Fresno, Dignity Health and local pediatrician offices. Residents also will go to Stanford in Palo Alto for rotations in adolescent medicine, developmental pediatrics and other electives, Limon said. Stanford will send residents to Valley Children’s for a required one-month rotation in emergency medicine, she said.

This story will be updated.