About Our Program

The Bella Vista Family Medicine Program was founded in June, 1997. This is an accredited three-year unopposed Family Medicine program in a community hospital site. It is affiliated to the University of Ponce School of Medicine, but is independently administered and staffed by local faculty and personnel. We have graduated 90 residents since 2000.

The Bella Vista Family Medicine Program aims to provide care in the context of the family and the community, accentuating disease prevention and health promotion in a unique bilingual environment. Your professional development includes training and developing competence in the area of Tropical Medicine. In addition to being committed to excellence in education, personal growth, and delivering the highest standards of patient care. At Bella Vista you will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful island of Puerto Rico, "The Island of Enchantment". Located in the tropics, Puerto Rico has an average temperature of 82.4 °F (28 °C) throughout the year. Flamenco Beach located on one of our smaller islands, Culebra, has been named one of the best beaches in the world. You will be able to enjoy our cuisine, culture, beaches, island activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, surfing, or just enjoying the warm Caribbean sun.

Family Medicine Center

The Family Medical Center serves as a model clinic for teaching medical students and residents, and to develop new knowledge in the field of Family Medicine. Located in downtown Mayagüez, approximately 3 miles from the Bella Vista Hospital; it is here that residents and faculty practice clinical medicine, providing continuity of care to their patient panels.

The patient population derives from families living in the immediate Mayagüez area. A wide socioeconomic and age distribution contributes to an excellent experience in family care.

Each first year resident sees four to seven patients per half day clinic session and assumes care of about fifty families. The resident's experience increases progressively so that by the third year each resident is assigned an average of 150 families and can expect to see eight to twelve patients per half day session. Also there is an extended care facility, where the second and third year residents also see an average of 15 patients per clinic. The full time family physician faculty members maintain their own practices and also precept in the Family Medical Center of Bella Vista and the Bella Vista Hospital.

Faculty & Staff

  • Jorge Vera, MD, DABFM - Program Director
  • Ana Soto, MD, DABFM - Associate Program Director
  • Carmen Rodríguez, MD, DABFM - Preceptor out-patient clinics
  • Dolly Lugo, MD, DABFM - Preceptor out-patient clinics
  • Rafael I. Iriarte, MD - Research Coordinator
  • Nicelia Peña, PhD - Behavioral Science
  • Juan C. Jimenez, MD - Ob / Gyn Clinic Coordinator
  • Miguel Rivera, MD - Pediatrics Department Coordinator
  • Trina Steljes, MD - Surgery Department Coordinator
  • Antonio Padua, MD - Medicine / Pneumology Clinical Care Coordinator
  • Janelyn González - Program Coordinator
  • Jeannette Bonilla - Secretary