SOUTH GATE, Calif. (KABC) -- AltaMed health services, a network of community health centers, launched its first medical residency program in the city of South Gate this summer.
"It's been really wonderful. The patients are very appreciative of the care that we give to them," said Dr. Regina Inchizu, a family medicine resident with AltaMed in South Gate. "I'm able to learn from them. And then how do I properly take care of them? And what resources can I offer them?"
The residents, who are doctors completing more training, will go through a three-year program focusing on family medicine.
"We have six brand new doctors that we're able to train in a community setting, and we're excited to go with them through this journey. And it's the first time AltaMed has ever done anything like this," said Dr. Marco Angulo, medical director of medical education at AltaMed.
The goal behind the program is to target the physician shortage and to work towards eliminating health care disparities.
"They're going to get their medical education training 100%. But we've added the social determinants of health every day. We added the health equity lens every day," said Dr. Angulo. "And that's something that you don't really find in a residency program. To do that on a daily basis."
Resident physician Inchizu said it was her goal to serve a community that was similar to her upbringing.
"I grew up in, you know, in West Covina, it's a medically underserved area. There aren't a lot of physicians there. We grew up, you know, had a lot of financial hardships, we always didn't have access to care," said Dr. Inchizu. "And so AltaMed is one of those amazing safety-net clinics that helps to make sure that members of the community, anyone, regardless of income, or insurance status has access to quality care and a physician."
This first class of residents will graduate in 2023.