Photos by Ricky Gutierrez

Training the next generation of surgeons in Fresno

By MARISA MATA, Student Writer

Doctor Kent Yamaguchi (1968) was always interested in science and discovery while growing up. He was drawn to research and went on to study medicine at UC San Francisco, UC Irvine, Boston University and Indiana University. In 1980 he returned to Fresno, where he was born and raised, to build a career and impact the community as a renowned surgeon and educator.

Yamaguchi stated that wanting to help patients get to recovery has always been his main driving force. And as he is beginning to ease into retirement, he spends less time performing surgeries and more time training the next generation of surgeons performing their residency at Community Regional Medical Center in Downtown Fresno.

“The residents are enthusiastic about what they’re doing. They’re smart. They’re hard-working. And they’re willing to learn and take direction. Just, as a generalization, a great group of people,” Yamaguchi said. Interacting with residents and helping them complete a surgical procedure is his favorite part of his job. He plans to continue working with residents for as long as possible.

Photo by Bryan and Vita Hewitt

Yamaguchi became UCSF Fresno’s first plastic surgeon, and served as chief of surgery for 37 years at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center. He has continued to be the attending surgeon with Central California Faculty Medical Group since 1980. He is currently a member of 18 medical associations and societies, has 29 publications, has mentored hundreds of students and has received numerous awards for research and teaching, including a Top Dog Award in 2002 and the 2017 Alumnus of the Year Award from the UCSF Medical Alumni Association.

UCSF Fresno is also raising funds to establish an endowed lectureship in Yamaguchi’s name to bring nationally recognized experts in plastic surgery to Fresno to educate residents.

Life beyond the diagnosis
Success through adversity: A 13 year journey to accomplish a childhood dream