Welcome Message

On behalf of the faculty, staff, and residents, I would like to welcome all of our electronic visitors to the St. Mary Medical

Chester Choi, MD, MHA, MACP

Chester Choi, MD, MACP
St. Mary Internal Medicine Residency Chief of Academic Medicine, Professor of Medicine, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine

Center Internal Medicine Residency Program Web Page.  This is our 55th academic year training residents in internal medicine. Our  program emphasizes a personalized approach to teaching and learning, with educational opportunities in a full range of clinical and didactic settings.  Our hospital is efficiently-run, community-based, friendly, and very intent upon fulfilling the mission of Dignity Health and of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, who have been dedicated to providing compassionate care in Long Beach for 99 years. In August of 2023, the hospital will be celebrated its centennial anniversary! Our overall organization, CommonSpirit Health, has as its Mission Statement:  We make the healing presence of God known in our world by improving the health of the people we serve, especially those who are vulnerable, while we advance social justice for all.  As part of CommonSpirit Health, ours is a Dignity Health hospital with name origins of “Dignity” as showing respect for all people by providing excellent care and helping them lead healthy, meaningful lives. We are energized with the slogan “Hello Human Kindness” which expresses the ability of humanity to heal with kindness and respect.

From our new corporate CEO, Wright Lassiter III,  and hospital CEO, Carolyn Caldwell, to all of the staff who help us care for patients and each other, we try to advance this vital mission.  One of our major strengths is our own diversity, as it helps us relate to the very similar diversity of our community.  We help patients of color, patients of varying ethnic backgrounds, patients who identify as LGBTQ, patients with socioeconomic challenges, and patients who may fit none of these “categories.”  And, we strive to treat them all as we would want to be treated, recognizing that they may have some similar characteristics, but are each unique in many others.

In addition to our own academic patient care and consultation services, residents also rotate to subspecialty consultation services at our teaching site affiliate, Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.  The ambulatory care experiences include continuity clinics at the Family Clinic of Long Beach and rotations to a variety of clinics and offices for the “subspecialties” of ambulatory care such as dermatology, ophthalmology, women’s health, and HIV care.  We have had a successful primary care track established in 2011.  Approximately a third of our graduates go on to do fellowship training, with most others entering practice as hospitalists or primary care physicians, often in local Southern California.

Over the years, our residents have been selected, in part, for the diversity of their backgrounds and the likelihood that they would be able to relate to the patients in our community.  We also strive to be inclusive and to help address healthcare disparities and underrepresentation of minorities. Some of our residents have come from our local community and participated in the “pipeline” Cope Care Extenders program that encourages healthcare volunteer careers.  Our residency selection process includes positive assessments for patient care, knowledge, professionalism, and communication skills, but also for volunteerism and demonstrated altruism, willingness to learn, and cultural and language understanding and abilities.  They have learned their “healing arts” by better understanding diversity and social determinants of health.  We trust that you have these same interests and characteristics and that you will want to join with us and express your own Hello Humankindness.

Chester Choi, MD, MACP
Chief of Academic Medicine, St Mary Medical Center

Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Many of our residents have volunteered some of their free time to help to answer your questions during the interview season and in developing our residency program website.  We all extend a very warm welcome and invite your comments and questions. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section.