The UCLA Primary Care Program takes tremendous pride in an innovative and dynamic curriculum designed to develop high-quality general internists who can adapt to the evolving role of the primary care physician. We subscribe to the “clinic-first” model, believing that caring for patients in clinic is the most important and relevant curriculum to develop excellent primary care physicians. We provide our trainees with the broad clinical exposure to health systems and diverse patient populations required to excel in managing the myriad of conditions seen in practice. Our graduates are not only trained to provide excellent clinical care, but are also poised to become leaders and advocates in their organizations and communities.
We provide a strong foundation in clinical knowledge and skills for the primary care physician. All residents receive ample exposure to core internal medicine specialties. All residents also have structured experiences in fields crucial to outpatient medicine, such as women’s health, urgent care, dermatology, and musculoskeletal training. There are two half-day didactic sessions every +2 block, and each clinic offers learning experiences based on its rich patient population.
Our program has an X+Y schedule formatted into two weeks of continuity ambulatory clinic, followed by four weeks of other required or elective rotations. This 4+2 schedule allows Primary Care residents to have significantly more continuity clinic exposure and up to double the number of continuity clinics compared with the categorical ambulatory curriculum. The +2 weeks also provide time to incorporate subspecialty clinics, community medicine sessions, and dedicated time for wellness and panel management. Our ambulatory weeks include noontime subspecialty lectures as well as two academic half days with outpatient focused didactics.
Community Medicine and Focus Sessions
During each +2-ambulatory block, interns and junior residents have a scheduled Community Medicine session, where they experience first-hand, clinic and community resources, street outreach and home visits. As senior residents, this protected ‘Focus session’ time may be used to explore a resident’s own unique clinical interests.
Areas of Expertise
Through unique clinical experiences, mentoring, and projects, we encourage our residents to develop areas of primary care expertise. Examples of previous resident areas of interest include Women’s Health, HIV Primary Care, East-West medicine, Quality Improvement, and Medical Education. In addition to imbedding these interests as a senior resident during +2 weeks, our trainees have time to explore clinical interests in the form of Selectives.
Each Primary Care resident class participates together in two 2-week Primary Care Medicine (PCM) block rotations each year. These rotations are protected time for in-depth learning in primary care. They incorporate clinic, didactics, community site visits, and group projects. Since the entire class joins together for PCM blocks, these rotations deepen the sense of community within our program.
Our Primary Care Medicine blocks are carefully devised to include educational themes that extend beyond “classic” clinical medicine, which inform the broad, systems-based perspective that we believe all primary care doctors should possess. These themes build on each other and broaden throughout residency as trainees develop as practitioners. For example, PGY-1 residents learn about clinic structures and quality improvement, PGY-2 residents discuss panel and practice management and community asset mapping, and PGY-3 residents delve into the broader topic of health systems and advocacy.
In addition to lecture based didactics, the Primary Care Medicine rotation includes additional training opportunities necessary for complex patient management. Prior trainings have included: medical forensic evaluations for persons seeking asylum; Buprenorphine and addiction medicine training; health equity and anti-racism training; integrative medicine principles and selected acupuncture techniques; bedside ultrasound techniques; contraceptive device insertion; and mental and behavioral health curricula and workshops.