Posted on Wednesday - 07/27/2022 to Up Close
By Barbara Anderson
UCSF Fresno welcomes a physician board-certified in Internal Medicine and Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, as new chief of Medicine.
A dedicated clinician-educator and researcher, Glenn Matfin, MSc (Oxon), MBChB, FRCPE, has more than 35 years of experience in medicine, and has clinical and research interests in diabetes, obesity, and associated cardiovascular complications. He has been honored for his teaching, receiving the Harvard Medical School Academy Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence in Tutoring Award. Prior to joining the UCSF faculty at UCSF Fresno, he was a Professor of Medicine at MBRU College of Medicine in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“We are very excited to have Dr. Matfin join us as the fourth permanent Chief of Medicine for the UCSF Fresno program since 1975. His outstanding record in medical education, clinical research and diabetes expertise prepares him well to have a very positive impact on the largest clinical department on our campus, said Michael W. Peterson, MD, FCCP, MACP, associate dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and Research at UCSF Fresno.
Dr. Matfin takes stewardship of the UCSF Fresno Department of Medicine from Uzair Chaudhary, MD, a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Oncology and Hematology. Dr Chaudhary served as interim Chief from July 2019 until May 2022, while a national search was conducted for a permanent Chief of Medicine. “I want to thank Dr. Chaudhary for serving for three years as interim Chief of Medicine during the search for the permanent Chief,” Dr. Peterson said. “I am sure he is very happy to return to building the cancer program for UCSF Fresno.”
Dr. Matfin has trained and worked in several of the most significant clinical and research endocrine and diabetes centers globally and he sees opportunities for UCSF Fresno, as a regional campus of UCSF, to collaborate with researchers and educators at the main campus in San Francisco. “As a diabetologist, I am interested in diabetes and the associated issues – including obesity and the prevention of diabetes and complications such as kidney and blood vessel problems,” he said.
He received his initial postgraduate medical training in General Medicine, Endocrinology and Diabetes in the United Kingdom, where he gained his Membership of the Royal College of Physicians. He continued his Internal Medicine training in the United States at the University of South Florida, Tampa.
His clinical fellowship training in endocrinology and diabetes was at the National Institutes of Health, NIDDK Phoenix Branch, working with Pima American Indians at the University of Arizona in Phoenix.
The diverse population of the San Joaquin Valley has unmet needs in patient care, medical education and research, Dr. Matfin said. “That is why I am here, to try and come up with innovative ways of closing the huge clinical, educational and research gaps.”
An overall scarcity of health care professionals in the San Joaquin Valley (47 primary care physicians per 100,000 patients in the Valley as compared to 60 primary care physicians per 100,000 statewide) affects health care, he said. Patients often are presenting to clinicians in advanced stages of illness because of a lack of prevention and early contact with primary care physicians; and the diversity of the patients requires clinicians who understand the culture and the specific needs their patients may have, Dr. Matfin said.
“We need to train primary and secondary care physicians who can address those issues and who can understand the complexity of the people who we serve. That is where the residency and fellowship programs are so important and where the medical school training program (San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education) is needed to increase the number of people in medicine who are currently underrepresented and increase the number of resident physicians who ultimately will stay in the Valley.”
UCSF Fresno is well poised to tackle the challenges of patient care, teaching and research in the San Joaquin Valley and Central California, Dr. Matfin said. “We have a wonderful faculty, very good residents and dedicated colleagues who embrace the agenda that we want to help the underserved and all people in the Central Valley. And we have great partners with UCSF – this is a part of their mission as well to embed the values of diversity, equity and inclusiveness in all that we do and to address inequities such as social determinants of health, and racism.”
Training physicians from the Valley and hopefully retaining them will be a win-win for the population UCSF Fresno serves, Dr. Matfin said. “And it will be a good example of what is needed across the U.S. and globally. This is not a problem unique to Central California. A manpower crisis in health care is a universal problem.”