Skip to Main Content

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. We will be interviewing medical students in the Fall 2023 and welcome our first residents to start our 3-year program dedicated to training full spectrum, culturally competent family physicians in July 2024. 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 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. Our program is firmly committed to providing quality healthcare to the underserved and to our community outreach programs. The program supports learning through active patient care, supported by ready and available physician mentors.


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, 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.

  • The hospital provides a birth center, Level III NICU, invasive cardiac services, oncology, stroke center and many other services that support resident experience. 

  • 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 is sponsored by a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Santa Cruz Community Health Center, which 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 experiences in Maternity and Pediatric care (staffed by Stanford Pediatric 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. Each resident works one-on-one with an attending physician for the length of the rotation. Daily radiology rounds, work rounds and educational rounds supplement active care in the ICU and the nursing floors.

  • Important parts of every resident’s experience include Emergency Medicine, Sports and Musculoskeletal Medicine, Acute Rehabilitation, Palliative and Geriatric Care, Integrative Medicine and Wellness, Addiction Medicine, POCUS, 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, 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 practice management and leadership training is provided by the CMO, other hospital executive leadership and FQHC, including the current 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.