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Frequently Asked Questions


What kind of applicant are you looking for?

We are looking for applicants who are well-rounded, compassionate, intelligent individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to Family Medicine.  Ideal candidates have strong communication and interpersonal skills and will also have an interest in working with underserved populations.

What makes your program unique?

There are several things that make our program unique.  A few of them are listed below:

1.  100% of the patients we care for are underserved.  As a result of the population we care for, our residents have the opportunity to see and treat conditions and illnesses that they would typically not see in other settings.  Furthermore, in addition to training within our county hospital, our residents also train within community-based clinics that are part of the Department of Public Health.

2.  Our program is committed to teaching and education.  This is evident in our high ratio of preceptors (teachers) to residents in the clinic setting.  Also, residents as a group, have half a day each week that is carved out from their schedule and protected so they can attend lectures.  Lectures are given by faculty within our department and from outside departments and institution.

3.  Our residents receive a lot of "hands on" experience.  Residents have the opportunity to learn all of the procedures that are relevant to the wide spectrum encompassed by Family Medicine.  For example, even within our own Family Care Clinic at the hospital, we perform flexible sigmoidoscopes, skin excisions, circumcisions and vasectomies on a regular basis.

4.  We have committed and passionate residents, faculty and support staff.  There is a palpable sense of camaraderie, and outside visitors regularly comment that we are like one big family.  Our residents, faculty and staff believe in what they do and enjoy what they do because they are all committed to our dual mission of Education and Caring for the Underserved.

Is there a minimum / cutoff USMLE score for your program?

To be considered a competitive applicant to our program, we recommend applicants have USMLE Part I and II scores of greater than 210.

Test scores are only one part of the entire application.  In general, individuals who score well on the USMLE are more likely to perform well on in-training examinations and the board certification examination.  Individuals who consistently have difficulty passing the USMLE are less likely to perform well on future standardized examinations.

I graduated a few years ago.  Is there a maximum number of years out of school allowed for applicants?

To be considered a competitive applicant at our program we recommend applicants be out of medical school less than 5 years.  When unused or unpracticed, clinical skills tend to decline over time. 

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply for your program?  Do you offer J-1 or H-1 visas?

Yes, in order to be eligible for our residency program, you need to be either a United States citizen or a permanent resident.  We do not offer J-1 or H-1 visas at this time.

Do you offer observorships, externships or volunteer research opportunties?

No we do not offer these opportunities.

If I am a foreign medical graduate, what documents do I need in order to apply for your program?

In addition to the documents required for ERAS, all California residency programs require two additional documents from foreign medical graduates: 1) the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) status report and 2) the Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL).

Please note that the Medical Board of California will require several months to issue the Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter, so please apply well in advance.   You may be granted an interview at our program before you have received your Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL).  However, we need to receive your PTAL before January 31st in order to rank you for the Match.