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Victor Sta. Ana, MD

Director, Primary Care Scholars Program

Albany Medical College, Albany, NY – MD
Beth Israel Residency in Urban Family Practice, New York, NY – Residency


You completed residency training with the Institute for Family Health’s Beth Israel Residency program. What appealed to you about the program?

After graduating from medical school, I knew that I wanted to focus on primary care. The Beth Israel program was the perfect fit because I was able to stay in New York to complete residency training and practice medicine without having to leave my hometown. More importantly, the program matched my ideals and approach to expanded health care access appealed to me.

What sets family medicine apart from other specialties?

In Harlem, providers see patients who present with conditions that won’t be solved in a day. It takes trust and relationship building to address problems that our patients face.

Tell me about your role here in the Harlem Residency in Family Medicine.

I’m a faculty member and coordinate the residency program’s weekly lecture series.  I also chair the curriculum committee.

As Director of the PCSP (Primary Care Scholars Program) I work with Dr. Calman and the Deans of Medical Education and Admissions at Mount Sinai on PCSP admissions, program development, implementation and assessment. I have a unique opportunity to promote family medicine before students choose a specialty. I also see about 20 patients a day for follow ups, new appointments and walk in services.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

We are a Teaching Health Center, which means that there’s a lot of training and hands on experience. I enjoy precepting and helping residents put medical knowledge together to make a diagnosis. I see a lot of growth among residents.

How do you overcome challenges?

When I’m faced with a complex medical case, I stay the course by thinking that person I’m treating is someone’s mom, dad, brother, sister or child. That person means something to someone, so I try very hard to help my patients improve their quality of life.

"Family medicine is a marathon. This specialty teaches providers how to care for medically and socially vulnerable populations."