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Mercy Medical Center (MMC) is a 186-bed, Joint Commission accredited hospital that serves as a regional medical center for an agricultural area of central California. The Family Medicine Residency Program is the only residency program in the hospital and was established in 1974. We have 24 residents with 8 in each year. The Merced Family Medicine Residency Program is affiliated with the University of California, Davis. It was started at the urging of the medical staff because of a need for additional primary care physicians in the area.
The Residency Program has had strong support from the medical community. The residents function as primary physicians for a large number of inpatients. The respect with which the residents are treated at MMC reflects the extent of this community support.
More than half of the active medical staff are involved in the residents' training. The mission of the MMC Family Medicine Residency Program is to educate and facilitate the professional growth of family medicine residents to become high-quality family physicians and is centered around the following core philosophical concepts.
- Providing care in rural and under-served communities. The core outpatient experience for the resident's training takes place in the Family Care Clinic, a licensed Rural Health Clinic in South Merced, a designated area of unmet medical need, falling in the lowest 10th percentile of income in the state of California. Additionally, residents may also rotate through several other rural locations in the county of Merced, where they experience different aspects of an under-served county.
- Training in the whole spectrum of Family Medicine.The Family Medicine Residency Program is the only residency training program at MMC. Consequently, the residents have the opportunity to experience all of the training that is available at MMC. Residents take primary care of patients in all settings, with supervision and teaching from attending faculty. Residents are given the tools and experiences to develop a broad base of primary care skills.
- Becoming independent learners. We believe that residents need to develop a habit of learning and inquisitiveness that will serve them throughout their professional career. This is encouraged by daily presentations done by residents, with required presentations by each senior resident, and with promoting the searching of medical literature prior to rounding with the attending each day. There is also the expectation that residents will use the multiple educational tools that have been provided for self-learning on each rotation. Other online resources such as MDConsult® and UpToDate® are regularly utilized by the residents.
- Becoming caring and compassionate physicians. The nature of Family Medicine training provides ample opportunity to interact with patients in all types of settings. We utilize many of these settings to teach and demonstrate compassion. Residents will be exposed to multi-cultural medicine through our involvement with community groups providing care to the significant numbers of Latino and Southeast Asian immigrants in our local populations. Residents provide care for many individuals with little or no financial resources and learn how to work with governmental and private agencies to advocate for their patients.