IRC Chair

Kamell Eckroth-Bernard, MD, FACS

Dr. Eckroth-Bernard is double board certified in general and vascular surgery. Dr. Eckroth-Bernard has been in practice for eight years as a vascular surgeon and is an alum of the UCSF Fresno Surgery Residency Program. Dr. Eckroth-Bernard’s clinical interests reside in the realm of complex endovascular and open arterial reconstruction. He is dedicated to his patients and realizes the importance of increasing underrepresented minority physicians will greatly improve patient care in the Central Valley.  The UCSF Pre-Medical Surgical Internship provides an opportunity to partner with our local universities to help introduce, mentor and guide the future physicians in the Central Valley.

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Pre-medical Surgical Internship

Program Description

The UCSF Fresno Pre-Medical Surgical Internship Program is a seven-month intensive and comprehensive program designed to prepare current pre-medical students from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine and from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to successfully matriculate into medical school. This program stemmed from the obvious need for increasing the diversity of the physician workforce in the San Joaquin Valley to meet the needs for our patient population. The program offers interested pre-medical students the unique opportunity to work with the Central Valley’s highly underserved patient population and to experience medicine through UCSF Fresno’s Surgery Department. The program is designed to equip the students with skills, such as networking, professionalism, communication skills, time management, coping with stress, personal statement writing, interviewing, that will serve them well into medical school and thereafter. The program serves an opportunity for the students to build a mentorship network that will support them through their application process and beyond. The aim of the program is to enhance the students’ candidacy for medical school.

Application Deadline April 9, 2021

Pre-med Surgical Internship Application



Program Lead

Yazen Qumsiyeh, MD
Yazen Qumsiyeh, MD (Class of 2023)

Dr. Qumsiyeh is a general surgery resident with strong interests in mentorship and education. Dr. Qumsiyeh’s interest in medicine was heavily influenced by his participation in a pre-medical surgical program at his undergraduate university. Working as a resident physician in California’s Central Valley, he realizes shortages in physicians as well as the need to diversify the medical community to reflect the diversity of the patient population. Dr. Qumsiyeh, with the rest of the IRC, took on the challenge and crafted the UCSF Fresno Pre-Medical Surgical Internship to encourage and provide mentorship to pre-medical students from the Valley to pursue careers in medicine.

The seven-month program includes:

  • Formal Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) preparation
  • Comprehensive workshops focusing on American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application preparation, personal statement writing and medical college interview preparation
  • Educational sessions on health disparities and health equity
  • Clinical shadowing experiences in all areas of surgery
  • Skills lab workshops
  1.  U.S. Citizen, permanent resident, or U.S National
  2. Must be enrolled as a fulltime student in an accredited institution and completed at least two years of college (Sophomores in their second semester or higher will be considered).
  3. Completion of General Chemistry and at least one semester of Biology.
  4. Underrepresented minority in medicine (as defined by AAMC and /or HRSA)
  1. Surgical Internship Application (fillable form)
  2. Official copy of all college transcripts
  3. Current GPA
  4. Resume/ Curriculum Vitae
  5. Two-page personal statement answering the following questions:
    1. Why are you interested in medicine?
    2. Tell us about your upbringing and background.
    3. How will the program help meet your goals?
    4. Discuss personal/educational obstacles you have overcome.

                Overview of months

Q: How long is the program?

The duration of the program is seven months per cohort. This will be divided into two periods. The first starts Sept. 1 through Nov.  31. The students will have the month of December off and return January through April 30. The participant will be scheduled to join one of the following surgical teams once weekly for a six/eight-hour shift; AM shift (6 a.m.-12 p.m.), PM shift (12-6 p.m.), or overnight shift (6 p.m.-12 a.m.):

  • Acute Care Surgery Trauma (ACS)
  • Trauma Intensive Care Unit (TICU)
  • Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU)
  • Elective Surgical Services (ESS)
  • Blue Surgery (Surgical Oncology- Hepatobiliary, Endocrine and Breast)
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Breast
  • Burns
  • Plastics
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Overnight Team

Q: Is there a cost for attending the surgical internship?

Students are provided a stipend and meals are provided.

Q: Is there a stipend?

A $1,000 stipend is provided.

Q: Is housing provided?

No. Housing is not provided.

Q: Is parking provided?

Yes. Parking and public transportation are provided.

Q: What does the program schedule look like?

Please see the sample schedule/calendar.

Q: Is there a graduation?

Yes. A ceremony and certificate of completion is issued to graduates who successfully fulfill the program.

Donations to the Pre-med Surgical Internship will allow students to participate in a life skills course and thrive in a program they may not be able to afford. Please support the program and the students it serves by donating below.