Community Medicine

Our robust, nationally-recognized community medicine curriculum is one of the highlights that makes Natividad Family Medicine so special. The curriculum, as part of our Residency’s core philosophy, takes an intentional and aggressive anti-oppression and anti-racism approach to fighting the health disparities still prevalent in our society. The curriculum is co-directed by Oriana Nolan, Eric Sanford, and Sundeep Gupta. Oriana studied biology and public health at UC Berkeley, and has led many community-based initiatives in Latin America and California. Her current work focuses on harm reduction and access to care for marginalized groups. Dr. Sanford completed his training at UCSF, worked in the Peace Corps and Berkeley free clinics, and cares for underserved patients at a local community health center. Dr. Gupta gained experience with community health in India and Central America, completed Family Medicine training at Natividad, and led CDC country offices in Africa fighting epidemics and strengthening health systems for 15 years, before returning to Natividad in 2020. Together, Oriana, Eric and Sundeep immerse us in our community and teach us about how clinicians have the power to make an impact in their community beyond the walls of their institution – in addiction medicine, motivational interviewing, community outreach, community and legislative advocacy, public health science and policy, coaching and mentoring and much more. We implement community outreach not just as part of our community medicine rotations, but in all years of training, culminating in a senior capstone community medicine project on a topic of your choosing.

Some examples of community based experiences all residents receive during the 3-year curriculum:

  • Resident-led health education sessions with farmworkers in the fields, at local high schools, and nursing homes.
  • Trainings for our promotores (community health workers/educators) on chosen health education topics.
  • On site medico-legal partnership with California Rural Legal Assistance program.
  • 1:1 Mentorship program with local high school students, home visits with mentees and their families.
  • Work with patients experiencing homelessness, staffing the free homeless clinic at Dorothy’s Kitchen in downtown Salinas.
  • Participation in Salinas Syringe Services—needle exchange, rapid HIV & Hep C test counseling, low barrier addiction treatment, wound care.
  • Farm worker advocacy with community partners.
  • Home visits with survivors of violence.
  • Health education with caregiver support group.
  • Learning from survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking, at the Rape Crisis Center.
  • Join Public Health nurses on home visits in the community (topics include maternity care, homelessness, super-utilizers of the ED, etc.).
  • Provide LGBTQ and gender-affirming care in collaboration with local agencies and at our own clinic.
  • Engaging with the Monterey County Medical Society and the California Academy of Family Physicians to advocate for improved health policies.
  • Training in SBIRT & motivational interviewing for substance use disorders.
  • Work with providers at local substance use treatment centers (Door to Hope, Sun Street Center).
  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment for opiate use disorder): Provide suboxone in our clinic, and participate in consults for opiate use disorder via the Family Medicine MAT consult service in the hospital.
  • Participate in support groups for individuals with chronic pain.
  • End-of-life care training, in collaboration with hospice, palliative care, and the promotores.
  • Work with labor union leaders to help address needs in our community.
  • Correctional medicine experiences in Monterey County jail and juvenile hall.
  • Elective rotation in Correctional Medicine at the state prison in Soledad.
  • Resident-led Quality Improvement projects. Notable examples of topics include: Reach out and Read, Diabetes education, Restorative Justice, Indigenous language interpreter services, Homeless center work training in psychiatric disorders, Youth violence prevention with community agencies.
  • RHEDI training at Planned Parenthood.