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, with the formal acknowledgment of Family Medicine as a specialty, the program became a Family Medicine Residency. Shortly thereafter 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.
Since that time, it has acheived national recognition for its outstanding work in preparing family physicians to provide the full spectrum of care.
In 1996, Sutter Health leased Santa Rosa Community Hospital from the County and assumed its management as well as sponsorship of the residency. Since that time, Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital 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 200 full-time, part-time, and volunteer instructors. This includes geriatricians, pediatricians, obstetrician/gynecologists, many community-based family physicians, and several psychologists. 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.