Scripps Mercy Family Medicine Residency
Community-based, family medicine training in San Diego’s diverse South Bay
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.
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.
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.
Full-spectrum family and community medicine
With a focus on caring for the underserved, our three-year Family Medicine Residency Program offers excellent opportunities for graduate medical trainees to learn the skills needed to become comprehensive family physicians.
Residents gain diverse experience in women’s health, pediatrics, sports medicine, adult medicine, geriatrics, adolescent medicine and more. The program has a unique dedication to community medicine based out of the continuity clinic at San Ysidro Health, Chula Vista (a federally qualified health center).
Residency curriculum integrates opportunities for youth mentorship and development of a future workforce that will reflect the diversity of the community. Residents work with several school-based clinics, lead student mentorship programs, and offer classroom hands-on workshops for high school students to support leadership and entry into a health career.
Border health and global health
Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista is located just seven miles from the US-Mexico border. This means family medicine residents receive significant global-local training at continuity clinics and hospitals in our bi-national community. Across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, our residents work closely with clinic partners to provide primary care in a local shelter that serves marginalized and displaced individuals in the city.
Additionally, a collaboration called Viajé Interinstitucional de Integración, Docente, Asistencial y de Investigacion (Inter-institutional Retreat for Integration, Teaching, Assistance and Investigation) brings together:
- Family medicine residents from Scripps Mercy
- Medical students from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
- Public health and nursing students from San Diego State University (SDSU)
- Medical students from the Autonomous University of Baja California in Tijuana
The group travels to San Quintin in Baja California, Mexico, to provide medical care, health education and other public health projects. This sustainable global health collaboration has served the community for more than 20 years and, as a resident, you can be a part of its continued growth and transformation.
As a Centering Pregnancy certified program, our residents learn how to facilitate group prenatal visits.
CenteringPregnancy is a group prenatal care and support program developed by the Centering Healthcare Institute. It brings pregnant women, who are due around the same time, out of exam rooms and into a comfortable group setting. The Centering model offers residents a unique continuity experience that includes prenatal care, delivery, postpartum, and interconception care to a group of women and their families.
RPrIDE (Residency Promoting Inclusion, Diversity and Equity)
The goal of the monthly RPrIDE curriculum is to bring residents and faculty together to address a shared goal of anti-racism and inclusion. RPrIDE’s shared mission statement reads, “Racism is at the core of inequities in the social structures and health systems of this country. These inequities are destructive to the health of patients and the well-being of care providers. If we are committed to training leaders in primary care and improving the health of our community, we must commit ourselves to being anti-racist.”
Areas of concentration (AOC)
AOCs provide residents with additional training opportunities above and beyond the core graduate medical education training in family medicine. Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista’s AOCs allow residents increased elective and continuity time in this area. The fulfillment of the training plan is certified in the final training letter written by the program director upon graduation.
Maternal-child health AOC
- Increased continuity experience in OB-GYN outpatient clinics at San Ysidro Health throughout the second and third years. More pediatric clinics are also available.
- Additional clinical experiences with pregnancy options counseling, prenatal care, birth control management (including placement of IUDs and contraceptive implants), OB ultrasound training and pregnancy loss management.
- Dedication of eight to 10 weeks of elective time to the AOC. Electives are based on individual goals and may include: OB teaching elective, OB ultrasound, perinatology clinics, Planned Parenthood, pediatric rotations, additional lactation training, teaching an Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics course and extra Centering groups.
Adolescent health AOC
- Increased continuity at high school clinics
- More opportunities for advanced birth control training
- Leadership and support for mentoring high school students
- Advocacy for policy changes to support high school district wellness policies
- Participation in longitudinal district wellness committees
- Additional preparticipation clearance and school sports events
Sports Medicine AOC
- Additional sports medicine continuity clinics longitudinally
- Elective time with UCSD Sports Medicine teaching team
- Point of care Ultrasound training for musculoskeletal diagnosis and procedures
- Participation in sports physical clearance events for the local school district or community college
- Football game and post-game injury clinic coverage
- School District Wellness Center assessments and longitudinal clinical experience with supervising orthopedic sports medicine specialist and physical trainer.
Additional AOC opportunities
- International/border health
- Integrative medicine
All AOC areas require:
- Participation in a Community-Oriented Primary Care (COPC) scholarly project (research/scholarship/service) in the area of concentration with local or national conference presentation of the project
- Presenting a third-year scholarly talk at grand rounds on a topic in AOC
- Presenting a lunchtime talk or a perinatal case presentation in AOC during each academic year
- Attending a CME course in area of concentration — suggestions include the AAFP’s family medicine OB course or the University of California, San Francisco’s antepartum/intrapartum course
Scripps Mercy Maternal Health Fellowship
With grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Scripps Mercy Family Medicine Residency has created a fourth-year Maternal Health Fellowship that offers advanced maternal health training with a focus on underserved communities on the US-Mexico border. We are excited to collaborate with our federally qualified community health center partner, San Ysidro Health, as well as our Scripps perinatology team.
Our fellow will develop individual learning goals to guide their clinical experiences. Advanced procedural training opportunities include inpatient obstetrics, gynecology clinics and Scripps perinatology OB clinics and ultrasound training. Additional activities include Centering Pregnancy group prenatal care, quality improvement projects, management of women with substance use disorder and women’s healthcare in the rural Imperial Valley.
Our goal is to train family physicians with a passion and commitment to address health disparities, advocate for their patients and improve maternal health outcomes.
We were thrilled to welcome Ana Ortiz Ilizaliturri, MD as our inaugural 2022 Maternal Health fellow.
We are excited to announce our next Maternal Health fellows for 2023, Arienne Malekmadani, MD and Nery Guerrero, MD.
Applications will open September 2023 for the 2024 fellow recruitment period.
Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
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.
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!
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.
Residents learn to manage an array of medical pathology with a supportive balance of autonomy and supervision. Highlights include patient-focused care with bedside rounding, point-of-care ultrasound, open ICU, continuity of care with our outpatient clinics, an emphasis on work-life balance with an inpatient cap and opportunities to teach rotating medical students. Daily lunch lectures and weekly morning reports provide space for educational discussion and reflection.
We work with the internal medicine categorical and transitional year residents at our sister hospital, Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, on one of four teams. There is a rotating admission schedule and interns consult directly with specialists. This rotation provides a different and diverse patient population with lots of autonomy. There are daily and weekly educational lectures.
The OB rotation offers in-depth experience with labor and delivery along with exceptional clinical opportunities. Family Medicine residents manage antenatal and perinatal care for low- to high-risk patients alongside family medicine physicians and obstetricians. Residents are able to provide continuity of care for women in their own Centering group during delivery and postpartum hospital care. The multidisciplinary team includes experienced L&D nurses as well as a Baby Friendly approach to a lactation-supportive environment.
As one of our core rotations, residents work one-on-one with ICU attendings for one month. Residents learn the basics of ICU and management of the most acute and challenging cases in our hospital. As part of an interdisciplinary team, residents work closely with intensivists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, case management and palliative care. This rotation also gives you the opportunity to perform a variety of procedures, such as placing central lines, A lines, thoracentesis, paracentesis and intubations.
Pediatric inpatient medicine is performed at Rady Children’s Hospital, one of the largest children’s hospitals in California based on admissions. Residents work alongside UCSD pediatrics residents in learning bread-and-butter pediatrics, while also gaining experience in pediatric subspecialties, such as gastroenterology, neurology and endocrinology.
Special care nursery
Residents will work in the Level II NICUs (special care nurseries) located at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista and run by Rady Children’s Hospital physicians and staff. Residents will work closely with neonatologists, nurse practitioners and registered nurses to provide care for babies born as early as 28 weeks.
The Scripps palliative medicine service is a multidisciplinary team of palliative care physicians, social workers and spiritual care providers. As a team, residents take consults within all departments of the hospital regarding a broad range of topics, including pain management, goals of treatment and end-of-life and comfort care. You have unique opportunities to establish rapport with patients and families during their most difficult moments, and to lead important goals-of-care discussions during family meetings. Several graduates of our residency program have completed a palliative care fellowship and are part of the excellent teaching team at Scripps Chula Vista.
Composed of two residents, the night float team covers both the inpatient medicine service and labor and delivery. Together, both residents admit patients, care for medicine patients on the floor, triage OB patients and get involved in deliveries and C-sections. The week of night float ends with Morning Report — a collaboration between one of the night residents and attending to present an interesting patient case.
Our outpatient pediatrics rotation includes time at three school-based clinics (Hoover High School, Lincoln High School and Southwest High School) where residents evaluate and treat teens with experienced faculty. The rotation also includes time at several San Ysidro Health clinics, working directly with pediatricians, as well as specialty experience with pediatric mental psychiatry visits and developmental pediatrics. Outpatient experiences also include parenting classes, public health immunization clinics, and mentoring local high school students.
Pediatric urgent care
In this popular and high-yield rotation, residents work with pediatric urgent care physicians at Rady Children’s urgent care clinics in underserved areas of San Diego County. Residents see common presentations, including newborn fever, pharyngitis, rashes, fractures, lacerations, bronchiolitis, croup and asthma exacerbations, as well as patients with complex medical histories.
This rotation offers experience in psychiatric care. Residents are exposed to patients in a variety of clinical settings, including inpatient consultation, high school clinics and our own continuity clinics. Residents become more familiar with management of common psychiatric diagnoses and community psychiatric resources. Assessment and management of substance use disorder is an important part of the behavioral health rotation.
Medicine and surgical subspecialties
During the medicine and surgical subspecialties rotations, residents obtain diverse outpatient experience in such areas as dermatology, ophthalmology, head and neck surgery, cardiology, rheumatology, endocrinology and HIV care. This rotation provides an important opportunity to become more comfortable with physical exam skills and common diagnoses, while also learning when it is appropriate to refer patients for specialty.
Musculoskeletal and sports medicine
Residents work alongside orthopedic surgeons and primary care sports medicine physicians at various sites, including our own continuity clinic, UCSD and Rady Children’s Hospital. Residents gain experience in musculoskeletal exams, joint injections, managing acute fractures, splinting and concussions. Residents also have opportunities to provide football sideline coverage at local high schools and to work in the district injury clinics.
The community medicine rotation is the first rotation for all interns to begin their residency training. It allows residents to get to know Chula Vista and their colleagues. This rotation includes an orientation to our community resources, clinic sites and electronic medical records. Residents identify partnerships and resources available to address social determinants of health and work to reduce adverse health outcomes. You will meet continuity clinic patients whom you’ll continue to care for throughout your residency. By the end of the month, residents are prepared to develop and sustain community projects through a collective impact model throughout their three years of residency. It’s also a tradition for the intern class to cross the border and participate in a community health project and join a team to staff a clinic and provide primary care services.
Emergency medicine at Scripps
Residents evaluate patients in the emergency department at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista. With the help of emergency medicine attending physicians, you’ll perform various procedures, including laceration repairs, incision with drainage and intubations.
Emergency medicine at Rady Children’s
Family medicine residents work alongside pediatric residents, pediatric emergency medicine residents and pediatric emergency medicine physicians at Rady Children's Hospital. You’ll receive extensive and diverse experience managing common childhood illnesses and higher-acuity situations. Residents also have an opportunity to perform procedures during dedicated procedure shifts.
This rotation is based mostly in our outpatient surgical clinics and family medicine procedure clinics. It also allows residents to follow surgeons in the operating rooms at Scripps Mercy Chula Vista. Residents gain significant experience performing common family medicine office procedures, such as joint injections, skin biopsies, suturing and circumcisions.
This rotation takes place at multiple sites, including Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, San Diego PACE senior center and San Ysidro Health, Chula Vista clinic. Residents experience different perspectives of geriatric care, including inpatient, outpatient and home settings. You will work with family medicine attendings and geriatricians. You also give health talks at St. Charles Senior Center, coordinate home visits with your own continuity patients. Longitudinally, all second-year and third-year residents will meet monthly to take care of long-term patients at our local nursing homes.
Our ultrasound rotation combines independent study and hands-on ultrasound experience. Residents have access to a portable ultrasound curriculum with hours of ultrasound material (both didactic lectures and simulations). You’ll have opportunities on our inpatient service, OB clinics and sports medicine clinics to practice bedside ultrasound skills. There are also opportunities for advanced OB ultrasound learning with perinatology.
Patient Centered Medical Home
Our longitudinal PCMH rotation offers residents an opportunity to assume a leadership position in the clinic while also working on improving clinic efficiency. Residents review and respond to abnormal labs, respond to patient questions and complete tasks or forms on behalf of residents who are away. PCMH residents work closely with our clinical core faculty on quality improvement projects. They also facilitate weekly interdepartmental meetings and develop techniques to maximize charting efficiency and reduce physician burnout.
During this rotation, residents work at several community clinics handling common gynecologic procedures as well as with specialty clinics, such as OB and urology. Residents gain significant experience in gynecologic procedures, including LARC placements, colposcopies and endometrial biopsies.
Local and global electives
For elective time residents can choose to pursue additional training in their areas of interest, spend additional time with subspecialists, perform procedures or elect to extend their global health training further by arranging for rotations abroad. Our residents are supported by the program to pursue their personal interests. This may include:
- Participating in additional continuity clinics
- Training in subspecialty clinics and learning procedures
- Practicing hospital medicine in a foreign city
- Learning tropical medicine in the jungle
- Advancing language skills via immersion
- Partnering with community health workers
Here are a few examples of electives our residents have pursued abroad:
- Argentina – Language immersion
- Bolivia – Outpatient primary care
- Colombia – Outpatient primary care
- Ecuador – Outpatient primary care, ultrasound
- Fairbanks, Alaska – Inpatient and emergency medicine
- Lago Atitlan, Guatemala – Primary care, women's health, public health and education
- New Zealand – Outpatient primary care
- Puerto Escondido, Mexico – Language immersion, outpatient primary care
Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista
Established in 1964, Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista joined Scripps Health in 1986 and is growing today in parallel with the community it serves. The hospital has 173 acute-care licensed beds and more than 700 employees. Within the United States, it’s one of the closest hospitals to the Mexican border.
The hospital has an open ICU, allowing the family medicine team to care for floor and ICU patients simultaneously. As one of only two hospitals in the South Bay region with a labor and delivery ward, it handles a high volume of deliveries. Residents work closely with specialists and have the opportunity to participate in many different inpatient procedures and surgeries.
For the 14th year, Fortune magazine named Scripps Health among the top employers in the nation on their annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For.
San Ysidro Health, Chula Vista Clinic
The Chula Vista Clinic guarantees a unique, patient-centered experience focusing on healing and preventive care. It serves as our patients’ medical home as well as our residents’ continuity clinic. The facility has been designed around the concepts of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care — meaning the patient, not the support staff or providers, is the focus of all care and services.
Within the building’s spacious, three-story layout are specialized service pods with 60 well-planned and designed medical exam rooms, 10 fully equipped state-of-the-art dental operatories, a behavioral suite, an urgent care, a full-service diagnostic laboratory and a new radiology department featuring the latest advances in digital X-ray technology, health education/promotion services and social and support services.
Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego
Established in 1890 by the Sisters of Mercy, Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego is located in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. Rotations include internal medicine where our Family medicine residents work alongside Scripps Mercy Hospital internal medicine residents during their inpatient ward months.
Rady Children’s Hospital
A pediatric tertiary care center, Rady Children’s Hospital serves San Diego and Imperial Valley. Residents provide care here during inpatient pediatrics and pediatric emergency room rotations, working alongside residents from UCSD and other training programs.
High school clinics
Scripps Family Medicine Residents rotate at three local high school clinics: Southwest High School, Hoover High School and Lincoln High School. Residents work in a collaborative team with school nurses, social work students and nurse practitioners to provide medical care and behavioral health services. Our family medicine residents are excellent role models and can serve as mentors to develop a diverse workforce of healthcare professionals from underserved communities.
We also work closely with the San Diego Border Area Health Education Center to provide mentoring experiences at four high schools in the central and southern regions of San Diego County, including City Heights and Chula Vista.
San Ysidro Health and clinics
San Ysidro Health began operating out of a small house in 1969 when there were limited health care services in the area and families reached out to the UCSD School of Medicine for support. The San Ysidro Health clinics now include over 40 locations and extend from the US-Mexico border to the northern city of Escondido as well as eastern cities of Alpine and Campo. Each site offers a scope of services tailored to the needs of the local community, which may include mental health, dental, primary care and specialty clinics.
SYHC is a federally designated community health center and is governed by a community-based board of directors representing the ethnically diverse population it serves.
Health Frontiers in Tijuana
HFIT is a free clinic located across the border in Tijuana. It serves some of the city’s most marginalized communities including homeless persons, migrants, deportees and sex workers. It includes an HIV clinic, women’s group, transgender clinic and mental health services alongside basic medical services. Faculty and residents staff the clinic on Saturdays with students from UCSD and Autonomous University of Baja California in Tijuana.
The residency program holds daily and weekly didactic sessions in the outpatient and inpatient setting. Noon conferences and morning reports bring residents and faculty together for didactic sessions with the inpatient service, including case reports, pediatric and obstetric topics, specialty topics and ECG rounds.
On Wednesday afternoons, all faculty and residents meet for an educational series of lectures and workshops that address the breadth of family medicine, as well as balint groups, procedure workshops and quality improvement sessions.
We have ongoing monthly sessions of RPrIDE: Residency Promoting Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, with a goal to bring residents and faculty together to address a shared goal of anti-racism and inclusion. RPriDE’s shared mission statement reads: “Racism is at the core of inequities in the social structures and health systems of this country. These inequities are destructive to the health of patients and the well-being of care providers. If we are committed to training leaders in primary care and improving the health of our community, we must commit ourselves to being anti-racist.”
Clinical faculty in other medical and surgical specialties present topics that focus on their expertise. The didactic curriculum addresses the broad spectrum of family medicine.
Grand rounds are also held at our continuity clinic, where resident PCMH teams work with their medical assistants to improve care through practice improvement projects, with a focus on the PDSA cycle model.
Faculty and residents
Scripps family medicine residents enjoy the guidance of experienced physicians and researchers and learn alongside other talented trainees.
The Scripps Family Medicine Residency Program has an experienced group of core faculty that supports comprehensive family medicine education.
Faculty members teach the fundamentals of family medicine and offer expertise in maternal and child health, geriatrics, behavioral health, ambulatory surgery and community medicine.
- Shaila Serpas, MD, MPH – Program Director
- Marianne McKennett, MD – Associate Program Director
- Melissa Campos, MD – Associate Program Director
- Mary Moya, MD – Assistant Program Director
- Eugene "Michael" Rosenblatt, DO, MPH – Assistant Program Director
- John "Randy" Swartz, MD – Assistant Program Director
- Krystal Jimenez MD, MS – Assistant Program Director
- Miguel Alvarez-Estrada MD, MBA – Assistant Program Director
- Brendan Kidder, MD – Clinical Faculty
- Raul Trejo, MD – Clinical Faculty
- Ryan Yoon, MD – Clinical Faculty
- Kendra Brandstein, PhD, MSW, MPH – Director of San Diego Border Area Health Education Center
The Family Medicine Residency Program at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista offers nine first-year resident (PGY-1) positions each year. The program’s small size gives residents an opportunity to build close relationships with each other during their three years of training.
- View the class of 2025 (PDF, 320 KB)
- View the class of 2024 (PDF, 280 KB)
- View the class of 2023 (PDF, 330 KB)
- View the class of 2022 (PDF, 340 KB)
We offer fourth year chief positions for graduates who are interested in developing leadership and teaching skills. This position is tailored to individual interests and can provide more maternity care, inpatient, and faculty development experiences. Fourth year chiefs work closely with residents and faculty and focus on specific areas of the curriculum, community activities, recruitment, team building, and support for medical student rotators.
We also have two chief resident positions for third years. They work together with the fourth year chief and faculty to coordinate wellness activities, support curriculum development, review resident rotations, and serve as liaison to ensure resident needs are addressed.
Maternal health fellow
In 2021, the residency received HRSA funding for primary care training and enhancement in community prevention and maternal health. We established new fourth-year fellow position for advanced training in maternal health. The experience includes OB clinical experiences on labor and delivery in Scripps hospitals and rural sites, teaching opportunities, Scripps perinatology clinics and ultrasound training, leading Centering prenatal groups, gynecological procedure clinics, SUD management, and interprofessional team QI projects that focus on maternal health indicators in our community.
Our graduates practice broad spectrum family medicine in community health centers, multi-specialty groups and hospitalist settings. They serve as medical directors for health care organizations, faculty in academic institutions and health care leaders in multiple settings. More than 75% of program graduates practice medicine in underserved areas and 65% have stayed in the South Bay and greater San Diego area.
- Dr. Maria Carriedo-Ceniceros (2003) grew up in National City. She went east to complete her undergraduate education at Harvard College before returning to UC San Diego for medical school. Dr. Carriedo is now the vice president and chief medical officer for San Ysidro Health.
- Dr. Raul Trejo (2003) grew up in San Ysidro and completed medical school at Harvard University. He is now core faculty with the Scripps Family Medicine Residency Program and leads our Patient-Centered Medical Home curriculum with a focus on quality improvement and health disparities.
- Dr. Rakesh Patel (2003) began working at Neighborhood Healthcare after graduation and is now their CEO. He is a community health leader for northern San Diego County.
- Dr. Courtney Summers (2011) is medical director of the Imperial Beach Community Clinic. Eight Scripps Family Medicine Residency Program graduates work at this FQHC and our residents admit those patients to Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista in the teaching inpatient and OB service.
- We have three palliative and hospice care fellowship graduates, including Dr. Sonya Koo Christianson (2009), the prior director of palliative care at Scripps, Dr. Johanna Estrada (2015) and Dr. Stephanie Yoon (2012), palliative care attendings at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista.
- With a global health passion and NHSC scholarship, Dr. Brian Sullivan (2010) practiced two years in Saipan. Today he and his family divide their time between Costa Rica and South Dakota.
- Three graduates are practicing in Hawaii, including Dr. Mikela Yarawamai (2015) who is originally from the Big Island and now works closely with the native Hawaiian people.
- Three additional graduates practice in Texas, including Dr. Ruth Morgan (2013). She is medical director at Haven for Hope in San Antonio, a multi-disciplinary program that cares for the vulnerable homeless population.
- Our five sports medicine graduates are working with athletes across California, from UCLA to Stanford.
- Three graduates have received certification in integrative medicine.
- Many of our graduates are teaching the next generation of family physicians in our own program and other family medicine residency programs in California and across the West Coast.
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.
Our program offers a variety of research opportunities to trainees. These include COPC projects, case presentations and publications.
Community-oriented primary care (COPC)
Each resident participates in a COPC project. This systematic approach to health care is based on principles derived from public health, epidemiology, primary care, preventive medicine and health promotion. All residents complete a scholarly project using a community-based participatory model.
Resident-led projects are varied and may span multiple years, including:
- Group prenatal visits and maternity care outcomes
- Childhood obesity prevention
- Screening and assessment of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
- Migrant health and rights while under ICE/Border patrol custody
- Garden/nutrition/cooking classes for high school students
- Mentoring high school and undergraduate students
- Physical activity policy and projects (bike lanes, walking clubs)
Case presentations and publications
Many of our residents have turned their scholarly activities into publications, including case presentations and reports. Scholarly activities have been presented at various conferences, including:
- CAFP Clinical Forum
- AAFP Family Medicine National Conference
- AAFP FMX
- Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
Our program maintains a casual atmosphere that fosters support and togetherness. Residents are able to approach the fourth-year chief resident and faculty for specific requests or concerns as they arise. Wellness days and administrative time is woven longitudinally in rotations to reduce fatigue and ensure recovery from more demanding rotations. Residents have created a wellness committee to plan activities and create a space for discussion and planning.
Quarterly, we host an event called Residents and Faculty Together (RAFT), which gives us the opportunity to connect with each other and our community. It is a protected time that allows residents, faculty and program staff to meet outside the program setting to participate in recreational activities that foster relaxation and communication. Social activities include Halloween costume contests, beach barbecues, bowling, and visiting a local animal sanctuary. Other community engagement RAFTs have included virtual tours of community art spaces, visiting local museums, and cooking classes at an organic farm.
During the month of November, our residents and faculty support men’s health with an annual “Movember” mustache contest and fundraiser. We also participate in a white elephant gift exchange at our annual Holiday Party hosted by our program director. Every holiday season, our residents sing carols and spread holiday cheer for our nursing home patients.
During our annual retreats, all residents and staff spend a weekend away together where they relax, reflect on the year, and work on program development. In addition, mid-way through residency, the second-year class celebrates their halfway mark by having a day retreat to themselves to rekindle and reflect.
Residents participate in an annual fantasy football league — and the competition is fierce. Our residents enjoy being active whether by hiking in our beautiful San Diego backyard, biking, participating in fitness classes together, or Latin dancing. Additionally, every Friday at lunch is designated for individual wellness where we substitute lunch talks with a wellness lunch to be able to sit outside in the sun, catch up with our loved ones and more.
We also place a great emphasis on our structured wellness curriculum, mirroring the ACGME Aware framework. Through this well-being curriculum, residents and faculty engage in skill development and mindfulness to help promote a healthy and sustainable workforce. We work closely with the Employee Assistance Program psychologists to provide individual and group resident support.
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.
PGY-1 resident salary: $65,985.08
PGY-2 resident salary: $68,289.06
PGY-3 resident salary: $71,291.39
PGY-4 chief resident salary: $91,095.24
Insurance, leave and other benefits
All residents (and their families at minimal cost) are offered individual health insurance including medical, dental, vision and prescription coverage, under the Scripps medical insurance plan. Residents may also participate in the Scripps Wellness Program to reduce insurance premiums.
Professional liability coverage
Professional liability coverage is provided to all Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista residents for claims that arise out of the performance of their duties as Scripps employees.
Vacation and time off
Four weeks per year (20 working days) for all residents. Up to 10 additional days for personal time off (i.e. medical leave, family emergencies or holidays).
Residents receive a meal credit for $100 per calendar month to be used at Scripps Mercy Hospital cafeteria in Chula Vista. The residency program also caters lunches every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during educational sessions. Additional meals, salads, snacks and drinks are available at no cost for residents in the residency lounge at the hospital.
Free on-site physician parking is available at the hospital and clinic.
First-year residents (PGY-1) must obtain a Postgraduate Training License (PTL) within 180 days of beginning an ACGME accredited postgraduate training program in the state of California.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides confidential, free, short-term professional counseling for employees and family members.
Educational stipend and other covered benefits
The program covers the cost of licensure, DEA and USMLE Step 3 exam. An annual stipend is available that can be used toward the purchase of books, board review materials and conferences.
All residents have 24/7 access to the medical library at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista. The medical library is staffed with personnel who can assist with research and journal article retrieval. In addition, there are online journals and links to UpToDate, DynaMed, PsycINFO, Embase, AccessMedicine, Cochrane Library and PubMed. These online resources are also accessible from home.
Policies and procedures
COVID vaccination policy
The State of California Department of Public Health mandates that all healthcare workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. As such, Scripps Health requires that all residents be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a valid medical or religious exemption approved by a Scripps Health committee as a condition of employment.
Fair procedure policy
In accordance with “General Essentials for Accredited Residencies” published in the AMA Directory of Residency Training Programs. Scripps has adopted procedures for: 1) residents involved in a disciplinary action that could result in dismissal or could significantly threaten a resident’s medical career and 2) the processing of grievances against the program or the hospital. A copy of the protocol is contained in the Housestaff Manual.
Scripps supports a drug-free workplace. All new employees of Scripps must pass testing for drugs, controlled substances and alcohol prior to beginning employment. This pre-employment testing is required of all new residents and takes place at orientation. Scripps’ policy on substance abuse is contained in the Housestaff Manual.
Sexual harassment policy
Scripps’ goal is to create an environment in which all employees are respected. Scripps does not tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace. Scripps’ policy on sexual harassment is contained in the Housestaff Manual.
All appointments are facilitated through the National Resident Matching Program’s Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).
How to apply
All residents in graduate medical education programs in the state of California must possess a Post-Graduate Training license (PTL) within the first six months of starting residency. The residency program reimburses the cost of MD or DO licensure.
The following materials must be submitted through ERAS to be considered as a candidate:
- Universal application
- Personal statement
- Medical school Dean’s letter
- Medical school transcript
- Three letters of recommendation from medical school faculty
- A copy of the student’s USMLE scores
- A wallet-size photo
Applications are due by Nov. 30 of the application year. Interviews are held November through January and are scheduled by the residency office.
Medical student rotation application
The Scripps Family Medicine Residency Program offers outpatient, obstetric and inpatient training opportunities for medical students who want to gain experience in a family medicine environment that caters to the underserved Latino population of the San Diego border area. We have a close affiliation with the UCSD family medicine program.
In the inpatient setting, medical students care for patients and round with inpatient teams in training, working closely with interns and senior residents. In labor and delivery, medical students work closely with our residents to learn to care for laboring patients, evaluate triages, assist with deliveries, and round on postpartum moms and their newborns. Additionally, students have opportunities to work in various outpatient clinics and participate in prenatal care at San Ysidro Health, Chula Vista and Maternal and Child Health Center.
The goal of our medical student rotations is to provide a full-spectrum experience to gain a close-up experience of residency training.
- Be enrolled in a Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) approved medical school in the United States or Canada
- Have completed core clerkship training
- Be in good academic standing with their school to qualify for the rotation
How to apply
If you’re interested in applying for a medical student rotation, please print and submit the Family Medicine Rotation Application (PDF, 170 KB) for medical students. If you have questions in the meantime, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Family Medicine Residency Program at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, contact email@example.com.