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Medical Center in Porterville Graduates First Class of Internal Medicine Residents
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By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 3 weeks ago on
June 25, 2024

Sierra View Medical Center's 13 internal medicine residency graduates. (Sierra View Medical Center)

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Sierra View Medical Center in Porterville graduated its inaugural class of internal medicine residents this month at a festive ceremony attended by the 13 graduates, their families and friends, and medical center officials.

The ceremony marked not only a milestone in their medical training but also in the hospital’s history.

The Internal Medicine Residency Program was established at Sierra View to address the growing need for physicians in the community. The program’s mission is to produce highly skilled and compassionate internists prepared to meet the healthcare needs of the diverse population they serve.

“This first graduating class will be noteworthy not just for helping build a residency program but for a significant number of them staying in the Central Valley to work as physicians,” said Dr. Paul Watanakunakorn, Sierra View’s Graduate Medical Education Program Director. “One of our main goals was to increase the number of physicians caring for the population in this area, and we are seeing the results of our efforts with this class.”

The first class overcame challenges, Watanakunakorn said in a news release, “coming to an institution without a history of graduate medical education, no senior residents to help supervise them, and starting their training in the middle of a pandemic. It is truly amazing how they have not only succeeded but thrived, laying the foundation for a successful residency program for years to come.”

Since the arrival of the first class, Sierra View has welcomed three additional classes of residents.

Support Was Important

Dr. Juan Cabrera, one of the first-year program’s chief residents, said the support he received was invaluable during the pandemic.

“I struggled with managing critically ill patients and having difficult discussions with them and their loved ones,” he said. “With the help of the hospitalist and critical care staff, I was able to provide these patients and their families with the best care available.”

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Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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