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Family Medicine Santa Rosa - Highlights


Leadership for the future

We have designed an innovative set of immersive learning experiences at the beginning and end of each residency year to catalyze each class’s learning as they move from one level of training to the next.

  • R1: Clinic Immersion: The first-year curriculum immerses interns in our Family Medicine Center and community partners FQHC Petaluma Health Center. Begin and end your R1 year with a focus on clinical skill building and community medicine.
  • R2: Advanced Clinical Skills: Expand your skills with leadership training and advocacy work. Engage in advanced clinical training to set you up for success as you transition to second and third year senior resident duties inside and outside the hospital. Continue to engage in community work by spending time in the garden and kitchen at Ceres Community Project.
  • R3: Leadership and Professional Development: Third year residents broaden their expertise as teachers and practice leaders with a primary care leadership curriculum that prepare you to be a superb clinician-leader in any community setting around the world.

Community Medicine

Maximizing the total health of our communities.

Our program engages residents in community health from day one. Our goal is for our residents to obtain the knowledge and skills to lead sustainable positive community change.

Residents receive a longitudinal curricular experience with our affiliated partner, Petaluma Health Center. Petaluma Health Center is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) which prides itself on being a high performing wellness and prevention-minded community health center. All residents see patients at PHC regularly throughout their entire three years, precepted by our Community Medicine Fellow. The curriculum includes community medicine, population health, public health, advocacy for justice in healthcare and other social determinants of health. Residents gain the knowledge and skills to lead sustainable positive community change.

Dedicated community medicine rotations in all 3 years include additional opportunity to care for our community’s most vulnerable and participate in leadership training focused on optimizing community health. During this time, residents see patients at the Jewish Community Free Clinic, Graton Day Labor Center. Residents also facilitate the KP ACCESS program, in which vulnerable, at-risk FQHC patients receive short-term Kaiser Permanente insurance to gain access to free, vital specialty services.

In addition to these experiences, residents receive longitudinal didactic curriculum in community medicine, population health, public health, structural competency, health equity, and advocacy for justice in healthcare.


KPACCESS is a new program facilitated by the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency that provides vital access to specialty care for Sonoma County’s uninsured residents. This vulnerable, at-risk population receives short-term Kaiser Permanente insurance so they may access these vital services. The mission is in the name: KP ACCESS stands for Kaiser Permanente Access to Community Centered Equitable Specialty Services. We collaborate with Sonoma County community health centers to make high-quality advanced medical specialty services available to Sonoma County’s uninsured residents.

Referrals are generated by two local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) – Santa Rosa Community Health and Petaluma Health Center.  Services are free of charge for KP ACCESS patients, who continue to receive their primary care through their original FQHC while enrolled. Once the specialty care is completed, KP ACCESS patients are transitioned back to their community health center. Our family medicine residents act as liaisons to direct patient care throughout the Kaiser Permanente system.

Integrative Medicine

A focus on wellness and preventive care for both patients and physicians.

  • All residents are expected to participate in the University of Arizona’s Curriculum in Integrative Medicine (UAZCIM) for Residents. During specific rotations, residents complete the UAZCIM curricular content that is specific to their current rotation. This includes formal didactics and guided online training. We offer an optional 200-hour certificate track to UAZCIM.
  • Personal and professional development through mentorship, protected time for reflection, and a culture of caring.
  • Formal rotation in Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine, with longitudinal training in HeartMath, Food as Medicine, and evidence-based herbs and supplements.
  • Many faculty with additional training and board certification in Integrative Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine, and integrative modalities (acupuncture, herbal medicine, manual medicine/OMT, mind-body techniques).
  • Focus on health promotion, preventive health, and lifestyle medicine.
  • Regularly scheduled activities through Physician Health & Wellness (movie nights, ski trips, group hikes, sports games) and Live Well Be Well employee wellness program.
  • Second- and third-year residents perform forty-minute integrative health consults as part of their required rotations with the opportunity to do additional consults in elective time

Physician Health and Resilience

Promoting Reflection and Personal Growth

Our program values a healthy work-life balance. We believe that doctors who take care of themselves take better care of their patients. With a humane schedule (no overnight shifts in the first year and no 24-hour call at all!), strict adherence to ACGME resident work hour requirements, and faculty who model healthy, balanced lifestyles, we ensure that our residents thrive. Our faculty model healthy, balanced lifestyles.

Formal residency resilience practice includes:

  • Resident Balint: Balint is a group method of discussing and reflecting on the doctor-patient relationship. The purpose of Balint is to build empathy for patients and to creatively explore the unique bond between doctor and patient.
  • Personal & Professional Development (P&PD) Groups: Regularly scheduled with protected time for each class twice per block, Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) sessions are facilitated by a faculty member to foster support and community during this time of dramatic growth.
  • Residents participate in HeartMath training and mind-body techniques such as guided visualization, and meditation.
  • Quarterly administration of the Physician Wellness Inventory(PWI) to monitor resident emotional and mental health.
  • Regularly scheduled activities through Physician Health & Wellness (movie nights, ski trips, group hikes, sports games) and Live Well Be Well employee wellness program.

Diversity and Inclusion

Leading the nation in equitable care and reduced disparities.

In small group settings, residents do cultural self-exploration assignments to encourage recognition of their own potential bias and stereotyping. Residents also explore how historical, political, environmental, and institutional factors (including racism and discrimination) impact health and underlie health care disparities.

Other highlights include:

  • Health Disparities and Racial Justice Curriculum along with training in culturally competent care
  • Latino Health Module offering culturally responsive, bilingual care
  • KP Santa Rosa is a nationally recognized leader in LGBTQ Care – opportunities for advanced training in transgender medicine
  • Opportunities for high quality research around social determinants of health and reducing disparities in health outcomes
  • Commitment to the promotion and support of diversity within the residency, attracting residents, faculty, and staff of diverse cultural backgrounds and life experiences
  • Kaiser Permanente has been committed to providing culturally responsive, prevention-focused healthcare to patients for over 65 years. Our integrated, technologically advanced, outcomes-based clinical care has been applauded by health experts across the nation.

Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa serves an increasingly diverse population, whether defined by socioeconomic status, social determinants of health, sexual orientation and gender identity, race, or ethnicity. Nationally, such diversity is usually matched by discrepancies in healthcare outcomes. Kaiser Permanente Northern California has been shown to be a significant exception to this rule, renowned for both culturally respectful care and an innovative model of integrated healthcare delivery which can reduce or even eliminate disparities in healthcare outcomes within a diverse population.

Scholarly Activity and Leadership

Dedicated time, training, and resources.

We wrap support around residents and faculty to harness their passions to advance the field of Family Medicine. All residents have time and support to complete their two required scholarly activity projects within the three years of training.

Highlights include:

  • 1:1 support from the residency’s full-time senior research project manager.
  • Kaiser Permanente’s renowned Division of Research is available for programming and biostatistical support for resident projects.
  • A network of clinical librarians who can help ground your project in the latest research.
  • Annual residency “Scholarly Shark Tank” – our fun and collaborative forum for showcasing resident and faculty scholarly projects. During Shark Tank, residents and faculty pitch their research proposals to recruit resident and faculty colleagues to “buy in” and collaborate on their project.
  • Training and funding are available locally and regionally to support the dissemination of scholarly activity.
  • Training in teaching and clinical leadership through two months of Ambulatory Chief Experience in the third year.
  • Opportunities to present scholarly outputs at a KPNC regional scholarly symposium, UCSF Colloquium, and other regional/national conferences.

Climate Forward Curriculum

As a climate-forward residency, we recognize and acknowledge that climate change is considered to be the single largest threat to human health for the foreseeable future.   With increased weather-related disasters,  physicians are already on the front lines of the climate and health crisis.   We also recognize the enormous impact that the US healthcare system has on the production of greenhouse gases and global warming.

We are working to integrate climate-related topics into our residency education.   Our goal is that residents graduate and practice medicine with a climate-informed lens.   We are committed to finding  ways to reduce our carbon footprint and train residents who can become advocates for climate health through the following:

  • Didactics focused on climate change
  • Elimination of beef (a major contributor to global warming) at all residency-provided meals
  • Discouraging single use plastics (at meals, speculums, emesis basins)
  • Increased composting and recycling in our module
  • Engaging in ongoing conversations about how we can reduce our impact
  • We also support and encourage residents to partake in climate and sustainability-related projects within our medical center

We invite you to join our conversation and help us educate our colleagues and our community!

Residency Advising Program

At the start of residency, all residents are assigned a faculty advisor that follows each resident through their 3 years.  Each advisor is chosen through a rigorous selection process and is eager to develop a longitudinal and supportive relationship with the resident.  We recognize how busy everyone is, so we provide a catered lunch and dedicated time for the resident/advisor pair to meet monthly.   These meetings are 1:1, as the advisor aims to get to know the residents’ professional goals, listen to areas of struggle, and provide guidance to help the resident meet their specific career goals.  Advisors are advocates for the resident and receive ongoing faculty development training focused on helping residents find joy and meaning in a career in medicine.

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