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.

UCSF Diversity

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UiM Surgery Sub-Internship

Program Description

The UCSF Fresno UiM Surgery Sub-Internship Grant is intended to provide unique opportunities and support for minoritized medical students who wish to complete a month- long sub-internship in Surgery at UCSF Fresno.  Available sub-internship rotations are:

  • Advanced General Surgery/ACS
  • General Surgery Oncology (breast, colorectal, endocrine, hepatobiliary)
  • Advanced Surgical ICU
  • Advanced Trauma Surgery
  • Advanced Vascular Surgery
  • BURN Surgery

Rolling Admissions

UiM Surgery Sub-Internship Application



Program Lead

Leah Lucero, MD

Leah Lucero, MD (Class of 2023)

Dr. Leah Lucero is a general surgery resident originally from rural New Mexico – a state with limited healthcare and education resources. She is a first-general physician and feels that the mentorship and advice she received over the years from various individuals was instrumental in her becoming a physician. After moving to Fresno for residency, Dr. Lucero noticed similar issues with healthcare access and inequality in the Central Valley to her home state of New Mexico. This sparked an interest in joining the UCSF Fresno IRC in order to help address these problems. Through the Underrepresented in Medicine sub-internship program, she hopes to help recruit residency applicants who have similar interests in practicing in a location that is underserved and in need of consistent, high-quality healthcare. In addition, she also hopes to help students from underrepresented backgrounds in medicine such as herself in order to create a more diverse workforce.

  1. Entering your final year of medical school and in good standing
  2. Planning to pursue a residency in General Surgery
  3. Must meet all course pre-requisites as outlined on our website
  4. Underrepresented minority in medicine (as defined by AAMC and /or HRSA)
  1. UiM Surgery Sub-I application (On-line fillable form)
  2. Personal Statement, not to exceed 1,000 words (attach to application)
    1. What experiences have shaped your desire to become a surgeon? How have those experiences shaped your career goals in General Surgery?
    2. What is your specific interest in Fresno and UCSF Fresno General Surgery’s sub-internship? Why do you want to rotate with us?
    3. Please share any further information about yourself, your background, and future that could help us understand how you will make the most of this scholarship.
  3. Current CV (attach to application)
  4. Medical School transcript (attach to application)
  5. USMLE score report (attach to application)

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

UiM surgery sub-I recipients are awarded a grant.

Q: Is there a stipend?

A grant is awarded to cover travel, housing, life expenses incurred by the rotation, the Visiting Student Learning Opportunity, VSLO, and UCSF Fresno application fees and tuition.

UCSF Fresno Visiting Student Requirements

Q: What do grant recipients receive

  1. Priority in scheduling rotations
  2. Mentorship: at least 6 weeks before the start of their rotation, the student is paired with an interested faculty member and resident. The mentors reach out to the student prior to the rotation and meets with them during the rotation.  It is hoped that this mentor-mentee relationship extends after the rotation. may form a mentoring connection that can extend beyond the rotation.
  3. Merit badge to add to their CVs

Support the UiM Surgery Sub-Internship

Donations to the UiM Surgery Sub-Internship will allow minoritized students to participate in a general surgery rotation with UCSF Fresno, General Surgery Program.  Please support the program and the students it serves by donating below.