Sponsored by Sutter Health

Affiliated with
University of California, San Francisco

Excellence Integrity Relationship

Elective Rotation: Rural rotation along the coast 1.5 hours from Sutter


Contact: Afsoon Foorohar, Mark Kal, MD

Location: Gualala, CA

RCMS affords a very rural experience in a beautiful setting. You can work in their urgent care, which is a small 5 bed facility that has every level of acuity. It’s only labeled ‘urgent care’ in technicality (free-standing ERs are not permitted in CA, they must be associated with hospitals), but in practice it functions more like a small ER with patients frequently being airlifted to Memorial and Sutter. You can be as independent as you like with some opportunity for procedures (lac repairs, iv starts, splinting, etc)
If you’re looking for a rural emergency medicine or urgent care experience, I HIGHLY recommend it. It is nestled along the coast in the town of Gualala (about 1.5 hours from Sutter, Santa Rosa). This is a hands-on experience in a setting of limited resources. RCMS offers housing, so if you want a reason to be out along the coast for a week or two, it’s a great rotation opportunity. It’s definitely doable for elective selective or elective away. Let me know if you have more questions.


Add Your Comments

Reader Comments


Redwood Coast Medical Services

From: Brandon Cortez

I spent 5 days in March 2018 working at the RCMS urgent care, which was an overall excellent learning experience. I worked with a wonderful Physician's Assistant who has decades of experience in emergency, flight, and wilderness medicine. The urgent care is a 5 bed area that takes patients of all acuity levels throughout the northern California coast. The nearest hospitals are one hour away north in Fort Bragg and 2 hours away at Sutter Santa Rosa; there are two crash carts, a helicopter, and two ambulances for stabilization of unstable patients and transfer to higher level of care. The patient population is on the older side, although the clinic and urgent care serves a migrant population and patients of all ages. I saw a wide variety of complaints, ranging from rule out ACS, PE, stroke to minor lac repairs and incision and drainage of abscesses. I highly recommend the experience for residents interested in rural urgent care.

From: Danielle Wisniewski

I spent 6 days working at RCMS urgent care. It is a very busy urgent care and saw at least 15 patients per day. It gives you a great education in learning sick vs not sick. You have an X-ray machine and some basic labs, and from there get to hone your exam skills to come up with a diagnosis. The staff was very welcoming and fun. I worked with a very well-seasoned PA and nurses in the urgent care. Highly recommend.