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Scripps Mercy Family Medicine Residency

Community-based, family medicine training in San Diego’s diverse South Bay

Two family medicine residents share notes over coffee, showing the camaraderie of this close-knit program at Scripps Mercy Chula Vista.

Community-based, family medicine training in San Diego’s diverse South Bay

The Family Medicine Residency Program at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista trains family medicine physicians to provide comprehensive medical care, with a curriculum that emphasizes community medicine. Scripps partnerships with local community health programs allow residents to focus on medically underserved communities, particularly those along the California and Baja border regions.


Our GME program is small but close-knit, with ample opportunities to make a difference in the community while gaining valuable hands-on experience. Residents complete rotations in numerous inpatient and outpatient specialties, including women’s health, pediatrics, geriatrics, sports medicine and behavioral health. We provide full-spectrum family medicine at San Ysidro Health, Chula Vista, a continuity clinic that follows the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care.

Please note: Some of the footage and images in this video were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Scripps is currently following all CDC guidelines to keep our facilities safe for our patients and staff. Read more about our precautions or watch the video

Program highlights

Family medicine residents at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista learn to provide family-centered medical care that is comprehensive and culturally sensitive. Our graduates are well prepared to pursue a broad range of professional opportunities including inpatient medicine and maternity care, advanced fellowship training, leadership as medical directors, private practice, and outpatient care in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) settings.

Mission statement

Through a lens of cultural humility and social justice, we train a diverse group of residents to become full-spectrum family physicians and leaders who serve the historically marginalized communities of the South San Diego Border region by increasing access to quality healthcare and advocating for health equity.

Message from program director

Message from program director

Our director explains how the Family Medicine Residency Program at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista offers a rich and rewarding experience.

Photo of Dr. Shaila Serpas, the program director for Scripps Mercy Family Medicine Residency in San Diego.

From the program director, Shaila Serpas, MD, MPH

Thank you for your interest in the Scripps Mercy Family Medicine Residency Program. Recognizing significant disparities in access to health care, our mission is to train family physicians who are prepared to provide broad spectrum family-centered care with a focus on underserved communities.


We are a Family Medicine residency program that offers training at our community-based Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista while also benefiting from close affiliations with the excellent graduate medical education department at Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego and the UC San Diego School of Medicine.


Our program was established with the support of the San Diego Border Area Health Education Center with a goal to increase access to quality health care for the medically underserved communities along the San Diego and Baja California border region. San Ysidro Health (SYH) is a large, federally qualified community health center with over 45 clinic sites throughout the San Diego and East County border region. Our close affiliation with SYH provides our residents a continuity clinic experience caring for a diverse patient population. In addition, there is a network of specialty clinics within the SYH system with services that benefit our patients while also providing educational experiences for residency training in the community. These opportunities include pain management, substance use disorder, cardiology, OB/GYN, HIV, gender-affirming care, sports medicine, child development, rheumatology, acupuncture, dental and behavioral health.


Given the close proximity to Mexico and fluidity of life in the border region, our program has fostered long-term partnerships with several clinics located in the Baja region. This provides residents an opportunity for longitudinal experiences in Mexico, alongside students and physicians serving farm workers and migrant communities.


Our program is dedicated to mentoring and supporting the future health care workforce who reflect and represent the diversity of our community. Residents participate in a variety of mentoring opportunities with several local high schools that include classroom sessions, virtual meetings, summer camp programs and shadowing experiences in the hospital. We also offer medical student rotations for inpatient and community medicine experiences. In our recruitment of residents, we look for students who have shown a commitment to working with underserved populations, community medicine, global health and cultural humility.


In recognition of racism as a public health crisis, our residents have developed RPrIDE (Residency Promoting Inclusion, Diversity and Equity) curriculum to promote a culture of anti-racism and to equip residents, faculty, and staff with the tools to identify and address race-based health inequities. Engagement of all residents and faculty has been important for sustainability and growth of this program.


Our program has an extensive maternal health training to ensure all residents are prepared to practice a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient women’s health care. This includes outpatient gynecological procedural skills, contraceptive management, prenatal care and facilitating Centering prenatal group visits. The labor and delivery rotation includes management of labor and high-risk conditions with both Family Medicine and OB attendings. Residents also have continuity of care when they deliver their Centering group patients and follow postpartum mother/baby after hospital discharge. Our Family Medicine OB faculty team includes an enthusiastic group of eleven physicians, many of whom graduated from our own residency program. 


With funding from a HRSA grant, we have created a fourth-year maternal health fellow to offer an additional year of training with underserved communities in partnership with our federally qualified health center and Scripps perinatology team. An individualized approach will provide the fellow with advanced training in areas of interest including inpatient obstetrical skills, facilitating Centering groups, perinatology and ultrasound training, gynecological procedures, quality improvement projects, management of substance use disorder and rural experiences in Imperial County.


I look forward to meeting and sharing our Scripps Family Medicine Residency Program and Chula Family with you!


Shaila Serpas, MD, MPH

Program Director

Family Medicine Residency

Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista

Curriculum and teaching sites

Family medicine residents at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista gain exposure to a variety of adult, pediatric and obstetric specialties during their three years of training. View our complete list of inpatient and outpatient rotations (PDF, 130 KB) for first-, second- and third-year residents.


Our proximity to the US-Mexico border also provides residents a unique opportunity to take health care beyond the walls of the traditional hospital or clinic setting. Diverse community experiences are included in rotations throughout the residency curriculum.

Faculty and residents

Scripps family medicine residents enjoy the guidance of experienced physicians and researchers and learn alongside other talented trainees.

Resident life

The Scripps Family Medicine Residency offers a balanced approach to academics and support. Residents benefit from formal career-building opportunities as well as fun team-building activities. In addition, many of our residents are committed to social justice, and gather together to join in advocacy opportunities.

Salary and benefits

The terms and conditions of resident training and employment are specified in the employment agreement (resident contract), including training obligations, stipend and benefits. Copies of the employment agreement, yearly rotation schedule, call schedules and other information are provided at the interview.

For applicants

All appointments are facilitated through the National Resident Matching Program’s Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).