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Family Medicine Residency

The Morehouse School of Medicine Dominican Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program in Santa Cruz, California, was established in 2022 to address health equity in our local and global communities. As an 8-8-8 program, we welcomed our first class of 8 amazing residents June 24, 2024!  We are excited to now be recruiting our second class of 8 PGY1 residents.  

While ‘new’, our program is well-grounded as part of graduate medical education that was started at Morehouse School of Medicine in 1981 and CommonSpirit/Dignity Health, who sponsors hundreds of GME programs which have served communities for more than half a century, currently training more than 2,000 residents nationally.   


As an unopposed program (the only residency in Santa Cruz County) serving the Central Coast of California, we offer a well-rounded curriculum and experiences with additional focus on areas designed to meet our mission to eliminate healthcare disparities. Specifically, we emphasize Community oriented Primary Care (COPC) in all facets with some specific strong areas that include: Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) in all rotations as well as whole person care with integrative & functional medicine for the underserved (IFM4US) and Integrated Behavioral Health.  Our program is firmly committed to providing quality healthcare to the underserved and to our community outreach programs by training our Residents in full spectrum family medicine.


Family Medicine Residency Program ... What Makes Our Program Unique?

  • Dominican Hospital Santa Cruz is a 222-bed community hospital, operating as a safety net for the most vulnerable in our community. As one of the most diverse populations in California, our patients and their illnesses offer deep learning experiences, rivaling those found at a large teaching hospital and the opportunity to learn how to impact the structural components impacting health equity.  2024 Santa Cruz Dignity Health / Dominican Hospital Value Report

  • The hospital provides a birth center, Level III NICU, invasive cardiac services, oncology, stroke center, robust emergency medicine and many other services that support resident experience.  Schwartz Rounds are a special way for the hospital to support our mission of providing a clinical learning environment that highlights patient experience as well as our learners and staff. 

  • Our faculty is diverse, sponsored by multiple organizations including Dominican Hospital, Dignity Health Medical Foundation/Santa Cruz Medical Group, Palo Alto Medical Foundation/Sutter, Santa Cruz Community Health, Salud Para La Gente and independent practitioners. The exposure to multiple groups and practice models provides a well-rounded set of perspectives to augment our residents' education and development. 

  • Our Family Medicine Practice (FMP) resident continuity clinic is sponsored by a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Santa Cruz Community Health Center, operating with “Clinic First” principles, serves a diverse, underserved and appreciative community modeling excellence in diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Our partner hospital, Watsonville Community Hospital, is also a safety net for the South County, providing rich, rewarding inpatient experiences in Maternity and Pediatric care (staffed by Stanford Pediatric Faculty) in a longitudinal, integrated 6 month curriculum for our PGY1-2s called “Family Centered Pediatrics-OB-Gyn” (POG) coordinating ambulatory resident experience on the hospital campus at Salud Para La Gente (which also sponsors the inpatient L&D faculty).

  • Salud Para La Gente, an award-winning FQHC, dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) serving Watsonville’s predominately Latinx population and farmworker community, provides inspiring resident experience in pediatrics, gynecology/women’s health, family medicine, school-based medicine and community-centered primary care, all focused on health equity. 

  • Our inpatient medicine service rivals those in internal medicine residencies, with teaching by both internists and family doctors. The ICU teachers are excellent, complementing the resident experience where their inpatient attendings model full-spectrum inpatient care by providing ICU care in our ‘open’ ICU. 

Our Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS)

Our point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) program is robust with each resident having their own POCUS probe to utilize in all inpatient/outpatient/community clinical learning experiences with the intent that every graduate will be competent and certified in POCUS. Truly, "POCUS for the Underserved" is an evidence based way to meet our mission to reduce healthcare disparities.

  • Important parts of every resident’s experience include Emergency Medicine, Sports and Musculoskeletal Medicine, Acute Rehabilitation, Palliative and Geriatric Care, Integrative/Functional Medicine and Wellness, Addiction Medicine, and home-based care.  We have enthused, talented faculty teaching and modeling each.

  • Community Medicine, led by Dr. Eric Sanford, who was a director of Community Medicine curriculum for 20 years at Natividad and Oriana Nolan MPH (who also leads the county Health Improvement Program in addiction medicine) will provide a longitudinal, integrated experience for residents in best practices proven to effect sustainable improvements in social determinants of health and upstream medicine, in alignment with our local Managed Medi-Caid HMO’s Partnership in Health and other community partners.

  • Our Leadership & Practice Management training is provided by the CMO, other hospital and FQHC executive leadership including immediate past President of the California Medical Association, Dr. Don Hernandez.  Dr. Hernandez is faculty for our inpatient teaching service and founded the CMA’s JEDI-A (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism/Oppression) Committee.

  • We provide robust, equitable support for each resident starting from the very first day, emphasizing the unique individual learning styles and path (‘tracks’ are available) that best supports you during residency—respecting it as one of the most dynamic times of personal and professional growth in your career.