The origins of the Cardiology Fellowship Program in the Central California Valley can be traced as far back as the mid 1960’s when the first accredited 2-year cardiovascular disease training program started at Valley Medical Center in Fresno under the guidance of Dr. Lauren Grayson. In 1975, the UCSF School of Medicine established a permanent campus in Fresno and subsequently took over the clinical training programs at Valley Medical Center (which was renamed University Medical Center), including the cardiology fellowship.
In 1981, UCSF opened another cardiology fellowship program at the Veterans Affairs of Central California Medical Center in Fresno under the guidance of Dr. Prakash Deedwania. For a while, both completely independent cardiology training programs were run in Fresno by the University. In the late 1980’s, a cooperative merger by both programs was made, giving rise to the unified UCSF Fresno Cardiology Fellowship Program under Dr. Grayson.
The fellowship program was thriving, producing highly-competent cardiologists, several of whom stayed to practice locally. The fellowship was of great benefit to the Central Valley region and the community embraced the program with open arms. In 1991, however, the ACGME mandated that subspecialty training programs be significantly reduced so that healthcare training could focus more on primary care. As a result of this mandate, UCSF was forced to terminate the fellowship program at its Fresno campus, and the last group of cardiology fellows graduated in 1996.
Over the years, an ever-growing shortage of subspecialty physicians in this region has served as an impetuous for the reestablishment of the cardiology fellowship program in Fresno. This call was heeded by Dr. Michael Peterson, the Chief of Medicine at UCSF Fresno, who brought in Dr. John Ambrose from New York to lay the ground work for such an ambitious endeavor in 2005. With the inaugural class starting in July of 2007, the rebirth of the UCSF Fresno Cardiology Fellowship Program was successful and complete. The rest is history!