1. How long has the Residency been around?
The Residency was founded in 1975 in affiliation with the University of California, San Francisco, which continues to provide administrative academic oversight and resources to our program. We have graduated 229 residents to date.
2. What is your facility like?
Salinas Family Medicine (our “official” name) serves the inpatient population of Natividad Medical Center, the 172-bed county-owned hospital. Our medical center was built in 1998 and we now utilize updated, state-of-the-art equipment in a beautiful and seismically-safe environment. In addition to the main Family Medicine Clinic and all the usual inpatient units, the hospital also has the region’s only locked mental health unit and acute rehabilitation unit.
3. What do your graduates do? Where do they go?
About one-third of our graduates remain here on the Central Coast; one-third elsewhere in California; and one-third out-of-state. About two-thirds of all our graduates work in public practices or in small towns or rural settings. However, we also have graduates who are university faculty, who work for the CDC, and who do policy or administrative work. One of our graduates works for WHO in Geneva, and one is the Assistant Director for the National Health Service Corps. Several of our graduates have completed academic fellowships over the past few years – OB at several locations, sports medicine at San Jose, geriatrics at UCSF, and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Policy fellowships at UCLA and Yale.
4. What are you looking for in an applicant?
Applicants should have the desire to work hard for our patients – a predominantly Spanish speaking, underserved population. Those with a strong interest in OB and Peds and in providing community-focused health care will do well at our program. Our eclectic group of residents brings many diverse qualities and experiences to the program—and they get along very well because of their common commitment to our patients and to their education. Having a support group of family/friends in the state and a desire to work in this area will also add to your success!
5. Do you have to speak Spanish to be a resident in Salinas?
No; however, most residents come with a minimum of some basic Spanish, or at least the clear desire or intent to learn. Since 70% of our patients are Latino, and 30-35% are Spanish speaking only, this is an important part of our commitment to provide contextual patient care. Our residents and patients do appreciate that most of our clinic staff is bilingual.
6. What about IMG’s?
Natividad has always been open to highly qualified International Medical Graduate applicants. We require USMLE 1 and 2 scores of 80 or above; medical school graduation within the last 5 years; a valid California Status Letter; and completion of some form of U.S. or other Western clinical or academic experience.
7. Do you have a student program?
Yes, we have a terrific student program. Please see our Clerkship page.
8. Your residents work hard . . . Do you meet the ACGME work hours requirements?
Yes. Natividad has had a Night Float system for 15 years. We continue to make adjustments to meet the new standards. Our residents do work hard to learn all they can about Family Medicine in 3 years, and we strive to be as supportive with their individual schedules and personal needs as possible.
9. Does your program emphasize inpatient training?
Although we have been known for a strong inpatient experience, we have systematically increased outpatient training. We have implemented outpatient medicine and surgical rotations, and our community medicine rotation curriculum we believe is one of the best anywhere! Nearly all of the third year is ambulatory – including our geriatric, gyn, pediatric, and neuro-psych rotations. In addition to our main Family Medicine Clinic at Natividad, several residents have the opportunity to serve their continuity clinics at 3 nearby community health clinic sites. We also allow residents to have up to 2 away electives, one in the R2 year and one in the R3 year.
10. How do you balance the volume of OB with the rest of your curriculum?
Our curriculum is designed to include all areas of Family Medicine. The OB is considered “value-added” - it has made our Night Float rotation just a little busier and has allowed us to actually decrease OB rotation time and increase GYN and other outpatient rotation times. Please visit our curriculum page for a more in-depth description.
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