Our Program

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A Letter from the Chiefs: Who We Are & What We Do

Warm greetings from sunny San Diego!

Thank you for taking the time to visit the Family Health Centers of San Diego Family Medicine Program website. We are thrilled to share what drew us here and why our enthusiasm for this program holds strong. We’d first like to share a brief history and mission of the organization we work with, deeply rooted in anti-racism, social justice and health equity.

FHCSD was founded in 1970 through the advocacy of dedicated local Latina leader Laura Rodriguez. She and a group of community activists sought to bring much-needed medical services to Barrio Logan, an underserved, predominantly Mexican-American community in the heart of San Diego. A more in-depth story can be found at our organization’s main website, www.fhcsd.org. Today, FHCSD has grown from the Chicano Free Clinic into one of the nation’s ten largest Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), serving over 215,000 patients annually and ranked among the top 20% in the country by clinical quality metrics.

The family medicine residency program was envisioned to fall in step with the FHCSD mission statement…

FHCSD is dedicated to providing caring, affordable, high-quality health care and supportive services to everyone, with a special commitment to uninsured, low-income and medically underserved persons.

…under its own mission to:

Recruit and train physicians from diverse backgrounds who are interested in providing care to the underserved communities of San Diego, while providing high-quality, broad-based clinical education and experience.

Our residents work primarily out of the City Heights clinic, an accredited patient-centered medical home serving one of the most diverse and underserved communities in San Diego. The income of 90% of our patients is below or near the federal poverty level. Our patients and their families come from all over the world — nearly half (42.4%) of people currently living in City Heights were born outside of the United States. It often feels like practicing global medicine without leaving the country as we are taking care of migrants, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, regardless of their documentation status. In recent years, some of the most represented groups in City Heights include Latinx, Haitian, Somali, Ethiopian, Congolese, Vietnamese, Iraqi, Syrian, Afghan, Burmese, Laotian and Cambodian individuals and families, with over 41 languages spoken in our clinic!

Additionally, our inpatient rotations are at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest, which functions as a safety net for the city, including many people experiencing homelessness and substance use disorders. This experience affords further expertise in caring for the underserved in a variety of settings.

Among numerous curricular strengths in our program, our HIV track stands out as a unique opportunity for interested residents to pursue during their training. While all residents learn HIV primary care and rotate through The Night Clinic, caring for LGBTQ communities including primary care for transgender patients, two or more residents are selected each year and become board-certified as HIV specialists and proficient in viral hepatitis treatment as well. Other tracks and areas of concentration include: Global Medicine, Sports Medicine and Integrative Medicine. The program is young, dynamic and constantly evolving. Past residents have started the above tracks to align their educational experiences with their career interests. Residents and faculty are continually collaborating to improve the program and resident ideas quickly translate to change. For instance, in 2020, with the leadership of a former chief and current faculty member, we have integrated medication assisted treatment (MAT) training for people with opioid use disorder into our routine curriculum, and are now building our own MAT clinic at the City Heights location. We are currently expanding our didactics curriculum to include education regarding structural racism within the medical community and developing new strategies to help combat the sequela from generations of discrimination and bias within medicine. We are passionate about social justice and strive to be part of this paradigm shift surrounding recognizing inequalities amongst various groups that had previously been disregarded and further diversifying our own program to include those groups often underrepresented in medicine.

Lastly, the close-knit feel of the residency community is palpable even to prospective residents during interviews and social gatherings, and it is truly one of the aspects of this program that sets it apart. We enjoy a healthy work-life balance, with San Diego providing endless opportunities for hiking, beaches, water sports, museums, restaurants, breweries and more. The list goes on! We are both so proud to be a part of the FHCSD FMRP family, surrounded by inspiring residents and faculty who are leaders in our community. We could not be more excited to share our love for this program with you.

Sincerely,

Natalie Bain, MD & Gregory Weygandt, DO
Chief Residents, Class of 2024

Program Goals

  • To develop outstanding physicians who are prepared to provide comprehensive and continuous primary medical care in a variety of settings
  • To foster effective interpersonal and communication skills with patients, their families and health professionals
  • To develop physicians who understand and put into practice up-to-date medical knowledge
  • To foster professionalism
  • To foster self-learning and self-improvement
  • To achieve certification by the American Board of Family Medicine
  • To develop leaders who will work within their communities to improve patient care
  • To create a new generation of highly qualified community medicine physicians dedicated to the care of everyone, with a special commitment to uninsured, low-income and medically underserved persons

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