With the initiation of formal training in general practice dating back to 1938, Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency has an established tradition of excellent training with strong support from community family physicians and specialists alike. Many of the program's graduates live in the area and have become active teachers in the program as well as leaders in the medical community.
In the years following the Gold Rush and the Civil War, Sonoma County needed a center for the care of the indigent. In its early years the “county” hospital provided care for the recent immigrants and the poor and served as a tuberculosis asylum. The early 1900’s brought interns to the hospital to provide inexpensive care for this patient population. By 1938, a nationally renowned two-year general internship was formally established at County Hospital of Santa Rosa.
In 1969, the program became affiliated with what has since become the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. The University provides additional teaching resources, including visiting faculty for grand rounds presentations, resources for research projects, and university recognition for faculty and residents.
Simultaneously, with the formal acknowledgment of Family Medicine as a specialty, the program became a Family Medicine residency. Since that time, it has achieved national recognition for its outstanding work in preparing family physicians to provide the full spectrum of practice care.
In March of 1996 Sutter Health leased Santa Rosa Community Hospital from the County and assumed its management as well as management of the residency. Since that time, Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa has supported the residency in its consistent excellence and provision of care of the county’s marginalized population.
There are 36 family medicine residents at the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency. The residents are top graduates of medical schools throughout the United States and overseas. The teaching staff is composed of over 120 full-time, part-time, and volunteer instructors. This includes geriatricians, pediatricians, obstetrician/gynecologists, many community-based family physicians, and several phychologists. Specialists also staff many outpatient specialty clinics in areas of neurology, dermatology, endocrinology, rheumatology, and surgery.
The program prepares graduates for certification by the American Board of Family Medicine and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.