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Welcome message from Dr. Lara

Rebecca Lara, MD
Rebecca F. Lara MD
Assistant Professor
Program Director, Rush Department of Family Medicine

“Family medicine is not general practice. The latter is diseases centered and based on episodic care. Family medicine is health oriented, and offers comprehensive attention to the family. It features continuity of health management, not just continuing care of a specific illness.” – Lynn Carmichael MD, “Teaching Family Medicine,” JAMA.

I am delighted at your interest in the Rush-Esperanza Family Medicine Residency. Born from a shared vision to eliminate health inequities stemming from decades of oppression coupled with a need to address a workforce shortage in primary care, we are so proud to offer a piece of the solution through this family medicine residency in the Brighton Park neighborhood of Chicago.

The COVID pandemic with its disproportionate effects on minority, urban, and low socioeconomic communities displayed the shortcomings of the current structure of American healthcare system. Since March of 2020, we have all witnessed how a global pandemic highlighted the inadequacies of our tiered healthcare system and the fragility of its infrastructure, particularly for people without access to primary care. The Rush-Esperanza Family Medicine Residency seeks to recruit dedicated physicians with a desire to be leaders in social justice with a commitment to remaining curious and providing optimal care for all patients, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

Our residency is part of the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program. Teaching Health Centers (THCs) are community-based primary care training programs committed to preparing health care professionals to serve the needs of the community. By moving primary care training into the community, THCs are on the leading edge of innovative educational programming. The Rush-Esperanza Residency clinic is hosted by Esperanza Brighton Park on the southwest side of Chicago.

Esperanza Health Centers is a Federally Qualified Health Center nationally recognized for the quality of care it provides. Esperanza has been a trusted resource in the community with a history of partnering with community leaders to understand and meet local health needs. The faculty practicing and teaching residents in the clinic have chosen a career path focused on vulnerable patients in under-resourced settings. Inpatient rotations take place at Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital where residents will learn from a wide range of talented, highly skilled and mission aligned faculty with expertise in teaching, precepting and supervision.

I am excited to continue to recruit, educate and mentor the next generation of physicians ready to take on the challenges posed by our current health system and transform primary care. Please explore our website for more information on our program and contact us at with any questions.