Presence Health

Message from the Program Director

Welcome to the Family Medicine Residency Program at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center (PSMEMC)!  Established in 2008, our program has deep roots in the community, having been created through the integration of two established residencies that together had more than 60 years combined experience training family doctors. PSMEMC, which recently became part of the Amita Health System, prides itself in delivering high-quality care. For five consecutive years, the hospital has received the Leapfrog Group’s highest rating, earning an “A” for its safety record. The program’s commitment to community and quality extends to the ambulatory setting as well. Our long-standing relationship with a Federally Qualified Health Center, PrimeCare Community Health, provides our residents with a rich ambulatory experience. And while the training we offer is delivered in a vibrant, inner city environment, we believe it imparts the skills and confidence needed to practice in any setting.

Family medicine at Saints Mary and Elizabeth is the hospital’s only sponsored medical training program (the medical center also has a podiatry residency and hosts visiting internal medicine and psychiatry residents in various clinical areas). This arrangement distinguishes us from most other programs in Chicago. By being the only teaching program, residents receive extensive hands-on experience and personal attention from faculty, attendings and hospital staff. Additionally, the continuity clinic experience is a joint venture with our ambulatory health partner, PrimeCare, where residents care for patients at one of our two community teaching health centers. This unique environment fosters a culture of “patient ownership.”  From the moment they enter the program, residents are encouraged to accept responsibility for patient care. We believe that developing competency and confidence can only come from being accountable to patients and their families. At Saints Mary and Elizabeth, residents grow personally and professionally because they become a part of our community, supported by their peers and mentored by a committed group of family medicine faculty and subspecialists who enjoy their roles as teachers.

SMEMC is a technologically advanced community hospital located in an exciting and culturally diverse area just minutes away from downtown Chicago. Our location offers residents the opportunity to treat people from many different backgrounds with a broad range of medical needs.  In addition to seeing patients at one of two community-based clinics in the area, residents may also rotate at other area hospitals, as well as learn about our patients through interactions with community groups. Candidates interested in the care of underserved populations and cross-cultural medicine will find the program especially appealing. 

Saints Mary and Elizabeth Center offers a well-rounded training experience that emphasizes community-based care in an urban setting.  However, our graduates have found that the experience translates into employment opportunities across the country, including rural, suburban and inner city locations. We believe that the curriculum provides exciting possibilities for challenge, growth, and discovery – all designed to prepare you to be a skilled, caring family doctor.

For more information, please contact our coordinator of medical education, Nicole Mrjenovich, at 312.770.2858 or write her at


Yours truly,

Alicia Vazquez, MD
Program Director
Family Medicine Residency Program