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NEWS | April 19, 2012

UC Davis residents named Residents of the Year by the California Academy of Family Physicians

Residents win for designing program to increase diversity, solve primary-care physician shortage

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)

Two UC Davis physicians-in-training have been named 2012 Residents of the Year by the California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP). The award honors new physicians who represent the finest characteristics of family medicine.

Charlene Hauser and Randi Sokol, family medicine residents with UC Davis Health System, will share the award with Alisha Dyer of Sutter Health. They will be recognized April 21 at a ceremony at the CAFP Annual Scientific Assembly in Indian Wells, Calif.

Drs. Sokol and Hauser © UC Regents
Randi Sokol and Charlene Hauser

"These three young physicians, in collaboration with CAFP, two years ago created the inspiring Future Faces of Family Medicine program," said physician and CAFP President Steven A. Green. "In an effort to address the statewide family physician shortage, the program introduces 20 high school students each year to the basics of a career in family medicine."

Future Faces of Family Medicine, which won a national award from the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, has successfully run for two years at Sacramento High Charter School. The program is expected to be launched in two other California locations in 2012.

"The future of family medicine looks bright," said Green. "We see it reflected in the faces of students who attend this program."

Hauser, Sokol and Dyer are primary-care advocates who believe prevention and chronic-disease management are the keys to improving public health. They created Future Faces of Family Medicine to introduce high-school students, especially ethnically or racially underrepresented students, to the many aspects of primary care and to encourage them to pursue medicine, a field many teens may not have previously considered.

Students enrolled in the program meet for six 75-minute weekday sessions and two half-day weekend sessions. The curriculum involves lively discussions, hands-on workshops, and patient-care and leadership activities. A number of health-care topics are covered in addition to CPR training, visits to a cadaver lab and simulation center at UC Davis, and a presentation by a panel of family medicine residents on their struggles and successes in their medical careers. Students also shadow undergraduates, medical students and residents at a local health clinic serving medically underserved populations.

"Our residency program supports young physicians to develop the skills and awareness for delivering the culturally appropriate, quality care that all patients deserve," said Thomas Balsbaugh, an associate professor and residency director in the UC Davis Department of Family and Community Medicine. "Drs. Sokol and Hauser have also shown outstanding leadership by inspiring their colleagues to think beyond the walls of our institution and engage in our community. Their vision and hard work distinguished them for this prestigious award."

Last year's CAFP Resident of the Year awardee, Ashby Wolfe, also was a UC Davis family medicine resident.

With more than 7,000 members, including active practicing family physicians, residents in family medicine and medical students interested in the specialty, CAFP is the largest primary care medical society in California. Family physicians are trained to treat an entire family's medical needs, addressing the whole spectrum of life's medical challenges. Family practitioners serve a broad base of patients in urban, suburban and rural areas, often in California's most underserved communities.

The UC Davis Department of Family and Community Medicine provides comprehensive, compassionate and personal care for patients within the context of family and community. The medical team integrates a humanistic approach to treating the "whole person" with evidence-based care. Special areas of faculty research are health-behavior change, physician-patient communication, chronic-illness care, women's health issues, and reducing racial and ethnic health disparities. For information, visit www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/famcommed/