Graduate
Medical Education

Dignity Health operates 39 hospitals, 11 of which are teaching hospital sites that, in addition to patient care, educate post-medical school graduate physicians in real-world environments.

About Graduate Medical Education (GME)

There are approximately 400 resident physicians and 30 fellows who train each year in the 11 Dignity Health GME hospitals. The hospitals that host graduate programs are, in order of initiation dates:

  • St. Mary’s San Francisco
  • St. Joseph’s Phoenix
  • St. Mary’s Long Beach
  • Mercy Merced
  • Mercy Redding
  • Dignity Health Northridge
  • California Hospital Medical Center
  • Methodist Sacramento
  • Marian Regional
  • St. Bernadine’s San Bernardino
  • St. Joseph’s Medical Center Stockton

Recruitment/Retention

For the past three years, Dignity Health has been able to improve the post-graduate retention rates of residents who have finished residency programs. Of the 129 total residents who finished residency programs from across Dignity Health in 2018, 35 residents chose to continue their employment within a Dignity Health Catchment area, meaning they accepted a position in a Dignity Health service area. The number of physicians retained increased from 26 to 35 between 2016 and 2018, which represents a 34 percent increase.

New Programs

St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton, Calif., started two new programs in 2018, for Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine. Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, Calif., has a new Ob/Gyn program starting this year as well.

The GME programs at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz., have joined the Creighton-Arizona Health Education Alliance between Dignity Health, Maricopa Integrated Health System and Creighton University. This will improve and expand Graduate Medical Education and create a four-year Creighton University Medical School on the Phoenix Campus, beginning in fall 2021.

International Medical Residency Rotation in Rural North and Northeast India Started September 2018

Dignity Health is partnering with a network of nonprofit hospitals in the rural parts of north and northeast India to expand health care access for the poor. Dignity Health is pursuing this work as an extension of our mission and our commitment to address human trafficking locally and globally. We will be supporting efforts to prevent trafficking that often results from unpaid health care debt.

In India many vulnerable families who don’t have access to affordable health care end up in bonded labor when they can’t pay their medical bills. We will contribute to the important work of prevention by increasing the capacity of our partners in health care delivery. Through the involvement of residents, our Indian partners will be able to expand the services at their nonprofit clinics and hospitals so that more vulnerable families will have access to affordable health care.

The program will provide residents an opportunity to work directly with patients at the rural hospitals and experience what life is like for a physician serving in these remote regions. As resources are limited in these areas, residents will need to find creative ways to use their skills and assess when new medical advances can be implemented. Under the guidance and supervision of an experienced Indian physician, they will work side-by-side with other health care workers and come back with a new perspective on the challenges and opportunities in global health.

There are currently eight Graduate Medical Education residents with Dignity Health who have signed up to participate in the month-long international rotation program. The residents will be going to one of three sites with our Indian partner agency, Emmanuel Hospital Association, and the first resident went in September 2018.

In preparation for this program, one of the GME residency program directors, Dr. Ron Chambers from Methodist Hospital, and a resident from Methodist Hospital, Dr. Tamar Stokelman, visited one of the rural hospital sites to view patient care and discuss the program with the medical director and staff physicians. Dr. Chambers and Dr. Stokelman were also part of a volunteer team from Dignity Health that provided training on human trafficking to health care personnel in India.

The training, which focused on trauma-informed care and the collection of forensic evidence to support survivors, was very well received, and participants made plans to immediately implement what they had learned. Additional volunteer teams are being formed as there was a great need expressed for future training opportunities.