Family Medicine and Community Health Department

The Universidad Central del Caribe Department of Family Medicine and Community Health prepare students so they can approach their patients from a holistic perspective. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of a sound knowledge base, as well as attitudes such as respect, compassion, acceptance of cultural diversity, sensitivity and respect to disadvantaged populations, through community-based interventions.  Our Department has provided Puerto Rico and US Hispanic populations with quality patient care, predoctoral education, resident training,  research, and community outreach programs for more than  30 years. This Department is the only one who has courses during the four years of studies. We have 6 regular faculty, over 100 affiliate faculty and 3 staff supporting our mission. Our faculty comprises family doctors (there is a Geriatric and an Addiction Fellow), health educators, epidemiologist, biostatistician and psychologists amongst others.

Our mission is to promote the health of individuals, families and communities though excellent community-based teaching, research and service in the fields of Family Medicine and Community Health.

Service- Learning

The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health provide a variety of learning-service opportunities for our students.  These experiences are structured as part of the LPCP I and II courses, and also as the International Medicine elective. In these courses students complete rotations within high-risk and disadvantaged populations and communities.  During these rotations students develop clinical, social and educational activities with members of these communities. Students also provide workshops for high school students on health maintenance and the avoidance of high-risk behaviors.

Our Department also mentors the student organizations “Medicina Urbana” and “Global Health”. Students in these organizations work with disadvantaged communities, developing health fairs and providing participants with screening and health education and promotion activities.



The Department supports the development of clinical and community research both within the SOM as well as extramural scenarios:

  • The Ambulatory Medicine and Research Clerkship is a required fourth year course in which students develop an original research project while doing a clinical rotation with a pediatrician, internal o family doctor.  Students are encouraged to use the project as a tool to address patient’s needs and health disparities (in terms of lack of services, access, knowledge, or other).
  • The Department’s faculty also supports research efforts from students, residents and fellow faculty members as consultants for clinical, epidemiology, biostatistics and methodology inquiries.
  • In the extramural scenario the Department carries out “Consulta Juvenil”, an island-wide survey on adolescent’s drug use.  Since 1990 and in coordination with the Puerto Rico Health Department, this school survey has established the prevalence of substance use among adolescent students in Puerto Rico. The coverage of the survey permits researchers to identify risk and protective factors for substance use for the general population as well as disaggregated by gender, and grade level. Since the survey is conducted throughout the island, the prevalence of substance use is calculated by geographical region, in order to determine those areas most in need of prevention and educational services. The survey also facilitates the analysis of temporal trends in substance use from 1990 until 2010.


Family Medicine Department Faculty


Eric M. González-Morales, MD, MPH
Chairman/ Professor

Coordinator LPCP I, II and Selected Topics Courses
Coordinator Electives Course in Family Medicine
Facilitator PEBM II Course


José L. Pesante-Pinto, MD

Coordinator Ambulatory Medicine & Research Course
Facilitator Problem Based Learning II Course
Cases Writer LPCP II, and PEBM I & II Courses
Designer CME in line module in Geriatric Medicine


Carmen M. Suárez-Martínez, MD
Associate Professor

Coordinator Family Medicine Clerkship Course
Harry Mercado-Ortiz, MD, D-ABFM

Associate Dean of Clinical and Faculty Affairs
Coordinator Transition to Clinical Years Course 
Leyda Z. Oquendo-Vélez, MD
Assistant Professor

Coordinator Mechanism of Disease Course
Facilitator and Cases Writer PBL I & II Courses
Lecturer Family Medicine Clerkship and Selected Topics Courses 
Héctor A. Feliciano-Rodriguez, MD

Facilitator and Cases Reviewer PEBM Courses
Iris C. Parrilla-Boria, PhD (c)
Associate Professor

Coordinator PEBM I & II Courses
Co-Coordinator Ambulatory Medicine & Research Course
Coordinator Second Year Curriculum and Research III Experience 
Margarita R. Moscoso-Alvarez, PhD
Associate Professor

Co-Investigator “Consulta Juvenil” Project
Eduardo Zaldúa, MD
Assistant Professor
Facilitator and Cases Reviewer PEBM I, II Courses

Family Medicine Staff


Lynnette Santana
Administrative Assistant
x. 2067



Sara Rosario
Administrative Assistant
x. 2077

Luz E. Sanchez
x. 2068 


Contact Us

Family Medicine & Community Health Department

Universidad Central del Caribe
PO Box 60-327
Bayamón, Puerto Rico 00960-6032
Phone (787) 798-3001 x-2067, 2068, 2077
Direct Phone (787) 740-3555
Phone & Fax (787) 740-4343