RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) Residency Program in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the national organization that accredits US medical residency and fellowship programs and the institutions that sponsor them.

The program was accredited for a total of 16 residents. The first class of four residents will begin their training in July 2017. The four-year training program will enroll four residents each year, meaning there will be a total of 16 residents when the OB/GYN program is fully developed. Sponsored by the School of Medicine, the primary training site will be Riverside Community Hospital.

Residency programs provide the post-M.D. training required for physicians to become fully independent and board certified in their specialties. OB/GYN training programs are four years long and, during that time, residents provide patient care under the supervision of attending physicians who are faculty of the residency program.

“Our newest residency training program builds on our efforts to expand access to medical care,” said Deborah Deas, dean of the UCR School of Medicine. “For women’s health services, there is a documented shortage of obstetricians and gynecologists in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Creating a new residency program is one of the most effective ways to move the supply of OB/GYNs in the right direction. That is because a strong predictor of physicians’ practice location is where they complete residency training.”

The School of Medicine was founded to address the severe lack of physicians serving the population of inland Southern California. The region also suffers from a shortage of outstanding women’s health care. The OB/GYN Residency Program will train high-caliber and cost-conscious physicians to serve the obstetric and gynecological care and sub-specialty needs of the growing inland Southern California community.

Karen Noblett is professor and chair of the UCR medical school’s OB/GYN program.Photo courtesy: K. Noblett, UC Riverside.

Karen Noblett is professor and chair of the UCR medical school’s OB/GYN program.Photo courtesy: K. Noblett, UC Riverside.

“One of my primary missions when I accepted the position as founding chair of OB/GYN at the UCR School of Medicine was to create one of the most sought after residency programs in the country, and we are well on our way to accomplishing that goal,” said Karen Noblett, M.D., professor and chair of the medical school’s OB/GYN program. “We have been able to recruit outstanding faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise and who are dedicated to the mission of the school. Additionally we have created an innovative training curriculum for the residents that is second to none, and includes new rotations in wellness and integrative medicine.”

Expanding residency training programs is a key strategy of the School of Medicine to address the physician shortage in inland Southern California, according to Gerald Maguire, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education (GME) in the School of Medicine. He explained that physicians tend to practice in the geographic area where they complete their residency training, and that the partnership with Riverside Community Hospital will greatly facilitate that.

“We are delighted that Riverside Community Hospital will serve as the primary clinical training site,” he said. “This 373-bed hospital has a level two trauma center designation and a level 3a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Residents trained here will benefit from the substantial resource commitments to this program in the form of GME infrastructure and space.”

“We congratulate UCR and welcome the partnership to train and retain OB/GYN physicians for the Inland Empire,” said Kenneth Dozier, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Riverside Community Hospital.

California has 2.44 OB/GYNs per 10,000 women. The state’s female population is expected to increase by 22.6 percent by 2030.  Most young women seek an OB/GYN for their preventive health and routine care. The OB/GYN workforce, however, is aging, the average number of work hours is declining, and a large number of OB/GYNs are retiring.

Kaiser Foundation Hospital – Fontana and Planned Parenthood San Bernardino Health Center will serve as the OB/GYN Residency Program’s subspecialty sites. The Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center will be the site for a two-month rotation in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Planned Parenthood will host a one-month rotation in family planning.

The UCR School of Medicine, which enrolled its first 50 medical students in August 2013 and will graduate its first class of students next year, has as its mission expanding and diversifying the Inland Southern California physician workforce and developing research and healthcare delivery programs that improve the health of medically underserved populations.

One of six medical schools in the UC system, the UCR medical school sponsors or partners in a total of six residency training programs and one fellowship program. These include the medical specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, general surgery, primary care pediatrics and cardiovascular medicine.

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