Katherine A. Flores, M.D.

Director, UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research

Katherine A. Flores, M.D. received her undergraduate degree at Stanford University and her medical degree from the University of California, Davis. Since completing her residency training, she has spent her professional career as a family physician in private practice within an all-woman, bilingual medical group in Fresno, which serves families from widely varying economic and ethnic backgrounds.

Dr. Flores is an associate clinical professor in family medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine and director of the UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research (LaCMER). LaCMER is a unit of the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program located in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley. The overall mission of LaCMER is to work with disadvantaged students and help prepare them to become health care professionals who will ultimately return to the Central Valley to provide culturally competent health care services to the medically underserved. 

Dr. Flores has been active over the past 20 years in developing and overseeing programs that recruit and retain Latino and other underrepresented youth into the health professions. She has worked collaboratively with multiple partners to establish a comprehensive health careers pipeline program in the Central Valley, targeting disadvantaged youth, particularly from migrant farmworker backgrounds. The goal of these programs, the Junior and High School Doctors Academies and the Health Careers Opportunity Program at California State University, Fresno, is to academically enrich, nurture, and support disadvantaged youth from seventh grade through college to assure their academic success and ultimate acceptance into health professional schools. Incorporated within the developed curriculum is a research focus that requires these students to explore health disparity issues in their local communities and provides them the scientific research skills necessary to address them. These programs also emphasize service learning and cultural competence.

Through her work in developing health professions pipeline programs for disadvantaged students, Dr. Flores and others jointly formed the California Health Professions Consortium to explore the development of a statewide strategy to address increasing the diversity of the health care workforce. The consortium has grown to include members from academic institutions (faculty and administrators from universities and health professions schools), K-12 educators, direct service providers (hospitals, clinics, health plans, nurses, and physicians), health policy advocates, and others who have similar interests.