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Residency Program Overview

Family Medicine is a specialty which has flourished because of its tolerance for a latitude of practice styles. Many excellent Family Medicine residency programs exist in the country, yet differ in important philosophical, educational or practice styles. The following are some of the salient features which distinguish the UCLA Family Practice Residency Program.

Although University sponsored, the UCLA residency training program offers a unique education experience in that it is based at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, a community-based teaching hospital, and involves required rotations at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, a public teaching hospital operated by LA County with a mandate to serve the underserved.

The curricula consist of 36 required core rotations at these two institutions including opportunities for away electives. The program provides two family health centers—the UCLA Family Health Center in Santa Monica and the Mid Valley Comprehensive Health Center in the San Fernando Valley. The goal of both continuity sites is to educate high quality family physicians. Although there is a large overlap and commonality between the two sites, the UCLA Family Health Center is more likely to produce clinicians for the broader community while the Mid Valley Comprehensive Health Center will concentrate on urban, underserved populations and policy issues linked to our fellowships.

Family Medicine patients admitted to the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital are under the care of the UCLA Family Medicine inpatient service. This is a service to which family medicine faculty and residents admit and write the orders for patients on all units including Medicine, ICU, CCU Pediatrics, Nursery, and Obstetrics.

All Family Medicine residents receive ACLS, BCLS, Neonatal and PALS training/certification during orientation, sponsored by the UCLA Medical Center.

An effective physician is dedicated to lifelong education and inner growth. Too frequently, traditional training programs have concentrated on high volume and long hours of patient care, while "educational care" for the physician-trainee is neglected. In order to encourage and nurture the whole person, of whom the physician is but a part, we have designed our Family Medicine Education Half Day Curriculum. Every Wednesday morning is devoted to didactic, small group, and Journal Club presentations. This Wednesday morning experience uses a rotating 18 month curriculum covering the core topics in Family Medicine.

The integration of the training program with the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center greatly enhances the diversity of experience enjoyed by our residents. In this facility the residents have the opportunity to care for patients from immigrant and low income families, as 70% of the patients are uninsured. Approximately 20% of resident time is spent at this facility. In contrast to many experiences of county hospitals, the program is proud to be able to maintain a large educational commitment to the residents while at the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. The inpatient and ambulatory rotations at this Center have an excellent balance between education for the resident and service to the patient. Our Mid Valley Comprehensive Health Center serves patients associated with the UCLA-Olive View Medical Center.

A highly structured curriculum relating to the biopsychosocial aspects of the resident's development is a significant portion of the three year residency. The program and faculty are very committed to this behavioral science component of the curriculum and a high level of audit and evaluation of performance in this area is continuously maintained.

The UCLA Family Medicine Residency is a program which is known for academic excellence blended across inpatient and outpatient care with comprehensive clinical skills. In pursuit of such excellence, the program hopes our residents will learn to become effective teachers of their colleagues, nurses and patients—even if they are not considering careers in academic medicine. To this end, a small independent scholarly project is required and presentations on clinical topics for various conferences throughout the Medical Center and Residency are encouraged.